Since these two volumes were provided as a set and since they have a common theme and format, I thought it best to review them in one review.
Like all other subject areas of the Bible there is no shortage of Old Testament and New Testament Introductions. Most serious Bible students likely have a couple on their shelves. Introductions primarily concentrate on historical issues such as authorship, date, purpose, textual questions and the like. Generally there is also a synopsis of the book’s content. These two volumes include that material.
Let’s begin with the proper titles. One is titled A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament: The Gospel Promised and the other A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized. The OT is edited by Miles V. Van Pelt and the NT by Michael J. Kruger. All of the entries are written by current or former professors of the Reformed Theological Seminary who have done extensive study on their subject matter. All the contributors have a reformed theological viewpoint; however, I found that perspective not to be blatant or obtrusive.
The order of the books for the NT volume is the same as our English Bibles while the OT order follows the Hebrew Bible. (Consult the “Introduction” to the OT for the reasoning.) Concerning format each entry follows an identical pattern of Introduction, Background Issues, Structure and Outline, and Message and Theology. Under each of these headings the authors were free to discuss matter appropriate to the understanding of the book. There is also a Select Bibliography at the end of each chapter that is valuable for further reference.
Bear in mind that these books are likely not to be read straight through but rather used as a reference. With that in mind as an example, I “referenced” the Psalms written by Mark Futato, a leading scholar on the book. I found his discussion instructive and fascinating and is an essential for anyone preaching or teaching the Psalms.
These are two volumes that absolutely must be in the library of every individual who preaches or teaches the Word of God. You will undoubtedly be able to find much of the information in other introductory volumes, but I found these to be written in such a manner that everyone, layman to scholar, can quickly digest and extract the information easily and readily.
Disclaimer: These two volumes were provided to me by Crossway for a fair and honest review.