DeRouchie, Jason S. “Introduction to the Old Testament,” The Gospel Coalition, December 2021, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/introduction-old-testament/
DeRouchie, Jason S. “Zephaniah,” The Gospel Coalition, December 2021, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/commentary/zephaniah/
Around one year ago, the Gospel Coalition published 250 essays overviewing all areas of biblical doctrine with a goal of serving the global church. I wrote two of these: (1) Interpreting Scripture: A General Introduction and (2) the Day of the Lord. You can access these articles here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/interpreting-scripture-a-general-introduction/ and https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/the-day-of-the-lord/.
Now, the Gospel Coalition is in the process of publishing a whole Bible commentary, book-by-book with introductory essays. I contributed the article titled “Introduction to the Old Testament” and the mini-commentary on “Zephaniah.” The commentary includes a very matured interpretation of the book in just 10 pages. In the introductory article, I briefly overview five critical issues pertaining to the Old Testament.
- The Old Testament’s date and diversity. God’s sages, seers, singers, and sovereigns wrote the Old Testament under God’s Spirit from 1446–500 BC.
- The Old Testament’s canonical status. Here I argue that the ancients associated the canon concept with both an authoritative, normative body of literature (“canon as rule”) and the boundaries and shaping of that material (“canon as list”).
- The ordering of the Old Testament’s books. Here I note a couple of different ways others have ordered the Old Testament that differ from the typical English ordering. In particular, I highlight that the ancients regarded the Old Testament to contain a three-fold division consisting of the Law, Prophets, and Writings. The article mentions at least four significances that derive from considering these various orderings.
- The message of the Law, Prophets, and Writings, noting how they communicate a story in need of a sequel and fulfillment.
- The Old Testament’s message and function within the biblical canon. This concluding section maintains that the Old Testament’s authors wrote about Jesus and for the eschatological new covenant people of God.
To read the rest of the article, access its pdf here. In addition to my articles, there are around 250 essays on theology that you would do well to read. You can link to them here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essays/.