A Basic Guide to the Old Testament by Fr. Jean-Louis Ska, SJ.

In 2019 Paulist Press published a popular introduction to the Old Testament by one of Europes’ most respected Old Testament scholars, Fr. Jean-Louis Ska.

Fr. Ska is a long time professor of Old Testament at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He is a Jesuit from Belgium, and is highly respected for his writings and perspectives on the Old Testament. He has published several works primarily for academics, and his recent Paulist Press title is his first foray into the popular market.  His 2006 Introduction to Reading the Pentateuch is considered one of the finest works on the subject since Vatican II, but it can be a bit foreboding for the newcomer to Old Testament studies.

One of the compelling attributes of Fr. Ska’s newest book is that it would be useful for individuals at all levels of familiarity with the Old Testament. He writes in an accessible manner without resorting to over-simplifications. He imparts helpful generalizations pertinent to Old Testament interpretation. He is not afraid to make assertions that might surprise those who are new to the Bible and perhaps come at it from a more fundamentalist standpoint.

Unlike many exegetical works, this is a delightful and stimulating read, and thus it is a book that does not fatigue the reader. It is informative, interesting, and inspiring. It helps you return to the Old Testament with a greater appreciation of its human roots and subtle and profound insights. For anyone seriously interested in understanding the Old Testament, this book is a must have. Very highly recommended.

The book retails for $19.95, and is published by Paulist Press. It can be ordered through their website, paulistpress.com.

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