OT stories for Christian adults

A Book for Christian Adults Who Seek to Better Understanding the Old Testament

This is a significant book of 219 Old Testament stories written for Christian adults who want to gain a better understanding of and a greater appreciation for the Old Testament. (See the picture of the book cover [and the links to Edenwood Press and to Amazon.com] at the bottom of this page.)  This book, entitled I Will Make of Thee a Great Nation: Old Testament Stories, is highly regarded and was a “Best Books Award Finalist” for USA Book News.  It was also the “Book of the Month” on Online Book Club (onlinebookclub.org) in August 2019.

I am confident that you will love this book!  And through it, I believe you will come to love the Old Testament because you will understand it better than ever before.  The stories are simple without being simplistic.  You will find them to be both very readable and true to the scriptures.  You will also be pleased that there is no fictionalizing and no embellishing.

THE OLD TESTAMENT: UNDERSTAND IT, LOVE IT!

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Following are three reviews of  I WILL MAKE OF THEE A GREAT NATION:

by Midwest Book Review:
The Old Testament is a compilation of some of the most famous and enduring stories cited in the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Now Val D. Greenwood has created a compendium succinctly re-telling two hundred of these Old Testament tales in “I Will Make Of Thee A Great Nation” in a more accessible and ‘reader friendly’ language style than the traditional Biblical translations that most people are familiar with. Placing each story within an historical context and through the profuse use of source citations and footnotes, this 367-page anthology is thoroughly appropriate for the non-specialist general readers, as well as Bible students, making it a very highly recommended addition to personal, family, church, and community library Religion/Spirituality reference and reading list collections.
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by Jaroslav Melgr:
This is a very nice volume aimed to introduce the Old Testament (OT) to a person who would not typically feel inclined to pick up KJV and read the OT cover to cover. It’s neither a re-translation nor a complete OT, but a selection of 219 stories from the OT told in a more accessible modern-day English. It could also be well used in a family setting, helping the children familiarize with the most common scripture stories. However, with that said I believe that even seasoned students of OT will find value in Mr. Greenwood’s book. The stories are told in a refreshingly plain speech and offer a different perspective. Though told as seen through someone else’s eyes it is still a remarkably unbiased and balanced account.
The OT is a large volume or work and it isn’t easy to understand at first. I remember the first time I opened the bible at the beginning and felt utterly overwhelmed and unprepared to comprehend what lied within. If you feel the same about the OT, but would like to learn more about it, this is a perfect book for you. Also the OT is very underappreciated volume of scripture. Many bible students touch on it only when they have to in seminaries or Sunday school classes and rush off to study the New Testament (NT) to discover the mysteries therein…. Yet it is my belief and my experience that the OT is a treasure trove of wisdom, knowledge and a key to proper understanding of the NT and Christ’s atonement. So Mr. Greenwood did a great service to all of us by putting together this book. His experience in studying and teaching OT for a number of years clearly shows through. He gets to the essence of each story and when he gives an interpretation or explains the meaning of something he clearly documents his interpretation with references to biblical passages. Once again, it provides the reader with a fresh view of the stories many of us are already familiar with.
The book also includes a section with biblical maps, pronunciation guide, name index with description of each character and references to where to read about them, subject index and bibliography. I highly recommend it to both beginning and advanced students, but especially to parents and teachers interested in fostering the love of the scripture and of the Old Testament.
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by Donald James Parker:
Obviously, Mr. Greenwood is a scholar. He has a love for scriptures and an attention to detail. His book not only has the retelling of various passages from the history of the Jewish nation before Christ, but also contains a wealth of footnotes that explain terms, motivation, and relationships. The back of the book contains maps, a pronunciation chart (every pastor needs something like this), and a name index that describes the significance of the various people who influenced the world in those days. And a subject index is also included for those who want to jump right to a topic. From the title we see that the scope of the work is not the entire Old Testament but rather a focus on the nation of Judah. My understanding of the nation of Judah as compared to the nation of Israel was almost zilch. The relationship between these two nations (with Judah being paired with the tribe of Benjamin) was one of the biggest advances in my knowledge gap.
Mr. Greenwood’s writing is invisible. That sounds like an indictment, but actually that comment is meant as a compliment. I mean I didn’t notice whether the writing is good or bad, because I was flowing with the idea the writing is supposed to convey. If the writing was bad, I’d notice and be distracted from the content. If the writing was salient, I would have been distracted by my stopping to admire the phraseology or perhaps to decipher a phrase that was overly complex in nature. Either way I would be distracted and my absorption of the material would be impacted. The author’s goal here is not to impress us with his literary prowess. He’s trying to deliver the word of God in a more digestible and condensed format. I think he succeeded admirably. Since this is just a retelling of material that already exists, there is no major element of creativity involved here to critique. The author’s major challenge is to determine what to include and what to omit. After the decision on what to include, he had to determine what to focus on and what to mention briefly. This is an area that some might criticize. For example, some might want to see more about King Jehoshaphat and less about King Saul. I don’t know enough to be critical or laudatory here. I know I learned a lot, but I have no clue about what should have been included or stressed in this work but wasn’t. This type of analysis really requires a Biblical scholar…
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Review on OnlineBookClub.org

by Carismama

I grew up with these stories. “I Will Make of Thee a Great Nation,” was a promise to Abraham and his sons Isaac and Ishmael.

When I was older and was expected to read the entire text of the Bible,however it was difficult to get through. While I personally think at some point reading the whole Bible is important, this brings those familiar stories to life in an easy to read manner. It isn’t simplistic like a children’s book, it is more detailed and has some insight from the author thrown in.

There are some stories that I had completely forgotten about. I didn’t remember the story of Dinah at all. I did remember Sodom and Gammorah, but I had forgotten that Lot had sons that were destroyed there. So, it’s also a good refresher for people who have grown up with these stories.

Although I believe it is geared towards adults, I think anyone from middle school and up would benefit from reading this book. This is especially beneficial for people who are young in their faith. It’s also very helpful in learning history. Not just Christian or Jewish history, but world history.

I give “I Will Make of Thee a Great Nation” 4 out of 4 stars. It is well edited, no misspelled words or typos and the grammar is flawless. The history is correct. Plus, it was enjoyable to read.

You can buy I Will Make of You a Great Nation: Old Testament Stories at Edenwood Press or on  Amazon.com

Buy this book on Amazon.com