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FROM THE FOREWORD: Enter Andrew E. Steinmann’s From Abraham to Paul. It is a book which should have been written decades ago. Here’s why. Steinmann not only assumes—quite rightly—that history matters, but he also shows two things about biblical history. First, he shows that in many cases with a little scholarly spadework we can have a pretty good idea as to when key events took place, events like the life of Abraham, the Conquest of the Promised Land, the birth of Jesus, or Paul’s Second Missionary Journey. These events are not the yarn of legend: on the contrary, there is every good intellectually-compelling reason to accept them as history, history that really happened in time and space. . . . The second thing Steinmann shows about history—and this is no less important—is its complexity. Some of the questions which the book takes up are thorny questions indeed, having provoked lots of black ink and fiery debate along the way. The author’s approach is never polemical, but always clear; the positions taken are not necessarily always the standard positions, but they are always defended from the evidence. Indeed, it is precisely this quality that makes the book such a delight to read. . . .
We should be grateful for books like this. We should be grateful, because God made history and history matters. Apart from the conviction that our faith is a historical faith, we are left only to cast about. But, when we are fully persuaded that sacred history meshes with the history in which we live and move and have our being, that is when biblical faith becomes a real possibility. Likewise, every intellectually serious reader of the Bible (pious or not so pious) will learn to think twice before allowing himself or herself to be bullied (happily or anxiously) by the skeptics. True, there is so much we don’t know. But, by the same token, there is much we can know—and know with some confidence.
---NICHOLAS PERRIN, Franklin S. Dyrness Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College Graduate School
What Other Are Saying:
Andrew Steinmann has placed biblical scholarship in his debt by this meticulous and magnificent addition to (indeed, replacement of) such magisterial works on biblical chronology as those by Edwin Thiele and Jack Finegan, the former limited to Israel’s United Monarchy and the latter embracive of the full canon. Grounded in primary texts, Steinmann lays out here a foundation that doubtless will provide the basis for all subsequent discussions of biblical chronology, an indispensable preliminary to a proper understanding of the biblical narrative.
—Eugene H. Merrill, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies
Dallas Theological Seminary
Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Interpretation
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
I can see this work appealing to both specialists and non-experts in the field, and indeed even to interested laypeople. Its combination of detailed table of contents, well organized and straightforward presentation, and especially the abundance of charts and graphics suggests that it will serve well as a reference tool. I very much appreciate Dr. Steinmann’s even-handed and respectful tone. I say this because, although Steinmann assumes an unabashedly conservative posture with respect to the Scriptures and the Church’s traditional hermeneutic, he does not shy away from engaging scholarship that proceeds from different presuppositions. While arguing against opinions and conclusions with which he is at odds—for example those of higher critics—Steinmann does not belittle or condescend. . . . Where he synthesizes and explains the well-founded conclusions of previous scholarship, he does so clearly and effectively. On the other hand, in those places where he challenges consensus views and presents new proposals, he does so persuasively, on the basis of careful research and well-reasoned arguments.
—Robert A. Sorensen, PhD
Associate Professor of Greek and Theology
Concordia University Chicago
Readers familiar with standard works in this field such as Merrill’s Kingdom of Priests will be pleased to find much new information in this volume. New insights into the Quirinius census, the matching of Jubilee/Sabbatical year cycles with the date of the Exodus, the timing of the Magis’ visit, and the sequence of events of the Passion Week—including the moon “turning to blood” immediately after the death of the Messiah—are part of Dr. Steinmann’s intensely interesting study. Laymen and scholars alike will find their faith strengthened by the precision and factuality of the Bible in historical matters.
—Rodger C. Young
Independent Historian and Chronologist
St. Louis, MO
Dr. Andrew E. Steinmann is Professor of Theology and Hebrew at Concordia University, Chicago, IL. He has over 25 years of experience guiding students into a deeper understanding of biblical history. Among his numerous scholarly and practical publications are the following from Concordia: The Oracles of God: The Old Testament Canon (1999), Is God Listening? Making Prayer a Part of Your Life (2004), and Concordia Commentary Series volumes on Ezra/Nehemiah, Proverbs, and Daniel.
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