While many Christians recognize the abiding value of the Old Testament as God's Word they stay away from studying it because they see it as a difficult and forbidding subject. In this completely revised and expanded edition of God’s Word to Israel Joseph Jensen incorporates the latest scholarship using a combination of the historical, literary, and thematic approaches to present a unified treatment—one that with even a modest degree of effort will produce rich rewards.
By selecting the most important matters, rather than attempting to cover every aspect of the Old Testament message, Jensen has given them the space and emphasis they deserve.
Joseph Jensen, OSB, taught Scripture for many years at the Catholic University of America and supervised the production of the New American Bible. He is the author of several articles and books, including Ethical Dimensions of the Prophets, published by Liturgical Press.
“The fruit of decades of teaching and research and a nearly a century of prayerful reflection, this clear and comprehensive work is the best introduction to the Old Testament I know. Combining top quality biblical scholarship with pastoral sensitivity, God’s Word to Israel is accessible and valuable to students and to all those who want to grow in their knowledge of and love for Sacred Scripture.”
Mary Elizabeth Sperry, author of Scripture in the Parish: A Guide for Catholic Ministry
“Professors of biblical studies and directors of religious studies programs often find themselves forced to choose between commentaries that are scholarly, but dry and far too heavy for the students, or those that are pastoral but seriously lacking in the scholarly historical and cultural contextualizations that are needed for the proper interpretation of the biblical texts. This is why Father Joseph Jensen’s God’s Word to Israel holds such an important place for the study of the Old Testament. Now reprinted in an augmented edition, this commentary is the rich result of Father Jensen’s vast scholarly knowledge combined with his vast experience as a professor of Old Testament. Each chapter presents the particular book under study in an accessible and engaging way, welcoming the student to understand the historical setting and the vibrant meaning it held, and representing its religious significance in its own day, as well as in the traditions of Christian faith.”
Dr. Wendy Cotter, CSJ, Loyola University Chicago
“God’s Word to Israel presents to college, seminary, and intelligent lay audiences the wisdom of a veteran teacher suffused with the love of the Old Testament. Comprehensive and sophisticated, and rich in its incorporation of historical, literary, and archeological scholarship, it remains easily readable and engrossing. This new and augmented edition offers up-to-date discussions of topics such as Genesis and evolution, Joshua and genocide, and recent Church documents about Scripture. The reader is sure to be enchanted and eager to return to reading God’s Word.”
Eugene C. Ulrich, John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scripture and Theology, University of Notre Dame
“Father Joseph Jensen's recently republished introduction to the Old Testament remains classic in every sense of the word, solidly researched, updated, and imbued with the depth of scholarship which only a lifetime of Benedictine study could amass. A rich consensus of contemporary research is reflected in these pages together with ample bibliography added at the end of each chapter. I found this volume a valuable addition to my personal library and a handy resource for ready reference when seeking solid background for preaching or prayer.”
+ Richard J. Sklba
"A highly readable introduction that will persuade many students and laypeople to explore the Old Testament and be captivated by its literature and theology. It will enable them both to situate it historically and to apply it to their own lives."
“In this revision of God’s Word to Israel, Joseph Jensen offers students and other readers an up-to-date, critical, and also faith-filled introduction to the Old Testament. Especially welcome in this new version is the author’s awareness of how a science-opposing mentality corrupts the reading of Scripture. I highly recommend this fresh remastering of a seasoned and readable interpretation of our ancient biblical literature.”
John Haught, Distinguished Research Professor, Theology Department, Georgetown University