The Old Testament Reloaded

Iain argues that we cannot do justice to the OT without understanding the context in which it was written – in this case that means the ‘ancient near eastern world’, primarily of Egypt and Mesopatamia.

Most of us probably view that kind of historical context as interesting but not vital and certainly not inspiring. Iain’s talk will blow that away. Once we grasp the sheer darkness and limitations of the ancient mind, we begin to realise that the OT was new and spectacularly human centred in its day. It created the paradigms and thought structures that the whole modern world benefits from – but largely takes for granted. Listen and be stunned.


Misconceptions in reading the Old Testament


Iain began his Old testament series by teaching how NOT to read the OT.
He describes seven ways that people often misread the OT and how this gets us into trouble. Not only do they lead us into error but they dilute the power of the text to really talk to us, and challenge us. He gives us a great example of how the Song of Songs has been misread throughout history to illustrate his point.


The Ancient Near Eastern Context

Iain argues that we cannot do justice to the OT without understanding the context in which it was written – in this case that means the ‘ancient near eastern world’, primarily of Egypt and Mesopatamia.
Most of us probably view that kind of historical context as interesting but not vital and certainly not inspiring. Iain’s talk will blow that away. Once we grasp the sheer darkness and limitations of the ancient mind, we begin to realise that the OT was new and spectacularly human centred in its day. It created the paradigms and thought structures that the whole modern world benefits from – but largely takes for granted. Listen and be stunned.


Who is God


Iain now launches into the distinctive message of the OT beginning with Genesis – Who is God?
Having covered the ANE context, he can give the OT answer to this question in a much richer light. We start to see just how new and fresh, the Genesis picture of God is, and how blessed we are to have this revelation. The view of God is so much grander and yet so much more intimate than anyone in human history had ever imagined. Enjoy and admire afresh how great God is!!


What is creation


Having given us the OT view of God, Iain moves onto the Genesis view of creation.
He builds a lot of his argument around Genesis 1 which sees creation as ‘temple’. It means that matter is not a problem as it was for the ancient world, and escaping matter is not the goal. Our goal is to restore matter and the created order so that it can contain glory.


Israel’s Covenant story


Iain gives us a breathtakingly succinct overview of the Old testament story in this talk.
He does not just summarise it, he captures the major themes through the window of covenants. This talk is worth listening to over and over again as it gives us what we mostly lack – the OT as a coherent story with strong themes.


What good is the law?


Having given an overview of the Israel story Iain moves on to ask the question, “What good is the law?” to us today. He gives us a sensible and balanced view of this question, and really opens up the way for pragmatism as well as idealism.


Bringing the NT and OT together


Iain finishes by showing how we can read the NT in the light of the OT, and so get a richer reading of the NT. He uses the book of Jonah as case study. First he expounds Jonah as an OT text, and then he turns to the NT and some of the Jonah references implied in the life of Jesus. He looks at ‘covert’ connections between the OT and the NT.


Q&A


Ian answers lots of questions arising from his talks, and from people’s general worries or questions about the ‘hard questions’ around God and the OT.