Old Testament Survey book recommendation

Hey, everyone. I’m looking for a recommendation for an OT survey book for my wife. Recently we realized that, despite being a Christian for quite a while now, she doesn’t have the basic sweep of OT history. You know, things like Bible timelines or when Isaiah ministered or the like. She’s no intellectual slouch and can handle something academic, but the goal would basically be a book to provide that basic historical understanding.

Any recommended titles for me to check out?

Jon Bright
W. F. Albright
R. K. Harrison

I realize these works are older, but contemporaries like Collins and Gundry are not trustworthy, theologically, and I would not recommend anyone feed from their hands. It is true that Bright is not conservative, but I find libs more palatable than sneaky conservatives.

I’d also recommend Eidersheim and Daniel-Rops for cultural matters, and Machen for NT Intro.

No, I would not recomment Carson/Moo for anything since they are agreed that it’s right and proper to neuter Scripture.

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Although not exactly a survey, this is very readable and helpful in getting a grasp on the issues and facts you desired, and I would recommend it as a good starting point.

Although, I haven’t read this myself, several men I trust said it’s very good and useful. I understand it’s quite the doorstopper of a book though :slightly_smiling_face:. Also a little pricey, so it may be more than she wante to bite off.

I’ve heard it said that you can often trust an outright liberal commentator over many conservatives because the liberal is free to tell you what the text means because he doesn’t have to live under it.


Thank you, all! I went with Sproul/Wolgemuth as an intro and then Bright and Machen for the next level. Honestly, I’ll probably read them, too. Bright’s book looked particularly thorough. Thanks for the liberalism heads-up on it.


Have you considered a chronological Bible reading plan? The OT is remarkably accessible when read chronologically. I’ve used this one and like it. It’s available on the Bible app also.