I bought this on Kindle many years back and finally got to reading it in preparation for a workshop with my GG on reading the Old Testament. I’ve told myself that I should be less critical, so I’d give this book 3.5 out of 5. It is excellent as an introduction, but I wouldn’t recommend it for those already familiar with the subject, or for those looking for specific principles or methods.

This book promised more than it delivered. At 225 pages (including the end notes), Kaiser Jr. goes wide, rather than deep. He gives an overview on the importance and need for churches to preach and teach the Old Testament in Part 1. And in Part 2, gives an overview on seven literary genres(?) in the Old Testament: narrative, wisdom, prophets, laments, Torah, praise, apocalyptic.

Readers expecting a detailed “how” will be disappointed. Nevertheless, his concise examination of the main features of each literary genre is useful. The illustrations at the end of each chapter is a good reference, but if the reader is expected to move from his text immediately to preaching and teaching, the gap is too large - he does not spend enough words showing how to move from identifying features to crafting a talk.

Appendix B is the best chapter of the book. Kaiser Jr. traces the recent developments that undermine “meaning” in the OT, which has consequences for the life of the church. He offers suggestions for the church to make course corrections in its relationship to institutions of theological education. He writes from a wholly evangelical perspective. A good foil is Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Future of Catholic Biblical Scholarship.

This book serves as a good introduction to the subject, but readers looking for more detailed principles and methodologies will need to search elsewhere. For preaching, I’d recommend Sidney Greidanus' Preaching Christ from the Old Testament.