Book Review: The Elder Testament by Christopher Seitz

BY SPENCER ROBINSON on January 1, 2019

Christopher Seitz intends The Elder Testament to be a “theological introduction to the canonical unity of the Scriptures of Israel.” Christopher Seitz has written many books and commentaries over the years. He has spent a lot of time within the realm of critical methods on the OT, so he knows them in and out. In TET he doesn’t intend to do away with those methodologies, but to supplement them with a canonical reading of Scripture. The canon of Scripture, particularly the OT, provides much of the commentary we need on understanding the OT.

This book is a “commentary on critical method,” looking at various interpretations of the OT, such as canonical and theological interpretations (4). The “Elder Testament” is made up of 39 books which all tell the story of Israel serving the one true God. The ordering of the OT is important, even though it differs between the Hebrew (MT) and Greek (LXX) texts (think, in some ways, Dempster’s Dominion and Dynasty or Goswell/Lau’s Unceasing Kindness).

All the Scriptures, both old and new, both “elder” and younger, speak of Christ. Here Seitz draws together old and new and examines the Trinity, wisdom, time and creation, Christ’s “speaking” in the letter to the Hebrews, and theophany. The OT is not old and outdated (how we often use the word “old” in English), but it is older than the New Testament. Yet this “Elder” of the two testaments speaks of Christian theology about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the New Testament authors drew upon it.

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