This sounds like a fantastic book, from a wonderful Hebrew professor. While reading this book John Piper tweeted “I feel like a greedy miser over a chest of gold.” He went on to say:
To all pastors and serious readers of the Old Testament—geek, uber geek, under geek, no geek—if you graduated from high school and know the word “m e a n i n g,” sell your latest Piper or Driscoll book and buy Sailhamer.
There is nothing like it. It will rock your world. You will never read the “Pentateuch” the same again. It is totally readable. You can skip all the footnotes and not miss a beat.
That’s enough reason to buy it. But here’s another endorsement:
“For years John Sailhamer has been pressing toward a comprehensive work on the Pentateuch, preparing the way with such works as his The Pentateuch as Narrative and a host of periodical publications on the subject. At last the magnum opus has appeared under the title The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation. In typical Sailhamer fashion, he has left no stones unturned in any language necessary to get to primary and secondary sources, while at the same time offering fresh insights into the biblical texts and compelling invitations to the reader to view them in more holistic and integrative ways. Careful reading of the book will inevitably call for a reexamination of the issue of the Pentateuch’s antiquity and its deliberate compositional strategy, a reassessment that will help to rehabilitate Torah as not the end product of Judaism but as the foundation of Israelite faith and practice.”
– Eugene H. Merrill, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The publisher’s description:
The Pentateuch is the foundation for understanding the Old Testament and the Bible as a whole. Yet through the centuries it has been probed and dissected, weighed and examined, its text peeled back for its underlying history, its discourse analyzed and its words weighed. Could there be any stone in Sinai yet unturned?
Surprisingly, there is. From a career of study, John Sailhamer sums up his perspective on the Pentateuch by first settling the hermeneutical question of where we should set our attention. Rather than focus on the history behind the text, Sailhamer is convinced that it is the text itself that should be our primary focus. Along the way he demonstrates that this was in fact the focus of many interpreters in the precritical era.
Persuaded of the singular vision of the Pentateuch, Sailhamer searches out clues left by the author and the later editor of the Pentateuch that will disclose the meaning of this great work. By paying particular attention to the poetic seams in the text, he rediscovers a message that surprisingly brings us to the threshold of the New Testament gospel.