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Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament

A Guide for the Church

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"An excellent addition to any practitioner's library. I highly recommend this book to serious expositors who desire to unlock the treasures of the OT for their listeners."--George Kenworthy, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

With Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament, renowned Old Testament scholar Walter Kaiser offers a helpful guide for preachers, professors, and students.

Developed out of tried and tested teaching material, this book exhibits Kaiser's straightforward and accessible writing style. The opening chapters deal with the value, problem, and task of preaching from the Old Testament. Kaiser then provides a practical focus by examining preaching and teaching from the texts of various genres (proverbs, prophecy, torah, etc.). A final chapter examines the relevance of the Old Testament in speaking to a contemporary audience. Pedagogical features include a glossary, and a suggested outline/worksheet for expository preaching.


"Here is a readable guide to preaching from the Old Testament, written by a man who is himself a superb preacher, scholar, and exegete. This book will help all of us fulfill our responsibility of preaching the 'whole counsel of God' with wisdom and grace. I recommend it highly."-Erwin W. Lutzer, Moody Bible Church

"Building on his epochal Toward an Exegetical Theology, Walter Kaiser now puts the urgent necessity of preaching the whole Bible clearly in the context of the contemporary situation. In my view, this is the best book we have on preaching the literary genre of the text. Kaiser is not only a master exegete with theological sophistication but also a master theoretician of preaching and a model practitioner of the craft."-David L. Larsen, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Those who know Kaiser's Toward an Exegetical Theology will welcome this step forward in breadth, clarity, and specificity. His zeal for faithful expository preaching enriches the whole."-Greg Scharf, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Those of us who care about biblical preaching face an uphill climb. Those who care about effective preaching of the Old Testament find the mountain to be particularly steep. With his new book, Walter Kaiser gives the preacher a welcome boost. This book finds its place alongside recent offerings by Graeme Goldsworthy, Steven Mathewson, and Sidney Greidanus, each of whom has championed a sound biblical theology for preaching the Old Testament."-Kenton C. Anderson, ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University

"The Bible of the early church was the Old Testament. It might be an interesting experiment for a pastor to preach from the Old Testament for a year to a twenty-first-century church. Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament would be a reliable and practical guide to help pastors through that great expanse of God's eternal truth."-Haddon Robinson, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"A front-ranking evangelical Old Testament scholar and passionate preacher himself, Kaiser launches a compelling case for restoring the Old Testament to a prominent place in the Christian pulpit. Enticing suggestions and demonstrations of how this can be appropriately and effectively done abound throughout the book. It deserves careful study by all preachers who aspire to be faithful to their divine commission."-Richard Allen Bodey, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This book contains a forceful argument for the necessity of preaching from the Old Testament as well as a succinct description of the various genres of literature in the Old Testament. Its guidelines and many examples of interpretation and sermons will be helpful for those who preach and teach Old Testament passages."-Sidney Greidanus, Calvin Theological Seminary

"Walter Kaiser gives a solid defense for preaching from the Old Testament and provides helpful insights on Old Testament backgrounds and interpretation. His hints for preaching the genres of the Old Testament will be of value to any preacher."-Scott M. Gibson, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"I always listen when Walter Kaiser, learned Old Testament scholar and preacher par excellence, speaks! Here is the very best advice-from the very best-as to how to preach the whole counsel of God. Every preacher should own this book."-R. Kent Hughes, pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Ill.

The Author

  1. Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

    Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

    Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (PhD, Brandeis University) is president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and at Wheaton College. Kaiser is active as a preacher,...

    Continue reading about Walter C. Kaiser Jr.


"Sensitive to the various literary forms found in the Bible, [Kaiser] provides guidelines for preaching and teaching from Old Testament narratives, Wisdom material, prophetic texts, laments, laws, hymns of praise, and apocalyptic forms. He concludes his treatment of each form with an illustration of preaching a representative text. This is a fine guide for effective preaching and teaching."--Dianne Bergant, Bible Today

"Provides an effective method for Old Testament exegesis with well-written examples for preaching. Teachers, preachers, and students of the Old Testament will find this book useful and inspiring."--Vincent F. Pisano, Ministry & Liturgy

"Kaiser's book would be an excellent addition to any practitioner's library. I highly recommend this book to serious expositors who desire to unlock the treasures of the OT for their listeners."--George Kenworthy, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Kaiser's suggestions as to how to preach from different genres of Old Testament literature are plentifully supported by examples and illustrations. . . . The book has many practical instructions for sermon preparation. . . . Kaiser's emphasis on the importance of biblical theology is to be commended, particularly the need to search for unity. . . . [The book] serves well as an introduction, both in giving practical steps in studying and structuring an Old Testament sermon or teaching, as well as discussing how Old Testament theology impacts preaching and teaching the Bible. It is short enough and accessible enough to be a significant help to the preacher and teacher of the Old Testament."--William Blackburn, Review of Biblical Literature

"Walter Kaiser Jr. is one of the 'aged sages' of Old Testament evangelical scholarship. His contributions throughout his career have been marked not only by careful scholarship but also by a concern to build up the church. In particular he has endeavored to both call and enable the church to give careful attention to its founding documents as represented in the Old Testament. This book continues that important task. . . . Kaiser's description of, and suggestions for exegesis of the various genres is clearly and logically articulated. I especially appreciated his treatment of lament as a genre that deserves independent analysis. Kaiser shows how to preach and teach these different genres by providing actual sermons or lessons from a text of the genre being discussed. . . . This book will be helpful as one of several volumes in an introduction course to preaching and teaching the OT."--Byron Wheaton, Canadian Evangelical Review

"Walter C. Kaiser Jr. . . . has long been recognized for his theological conservatism and insightful scholarship, and the more than thirty books he has authored have consistently demonstrated that these two virtues need not be incompatible with each other. Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament is no exception. . . . Kaiser's 'statements,' his theses, are valid and beneficial. They are Biblical, sound, orthodox, and scholarly. The book is a methodological delight. Kaiser's descriptions of various Old Testament genres and his demonstrations of how to preach these genres are priceless. The book is worth your money and time."--Francis C. Rossow, Concordia Journal

"Dr. Kaiser is not one to mince words. Readers may not agree with everything he says, but they can never accuse Kaiser of vagueness or lack of conviction. I believe that Kaiser's academic credentials, coupled with the clarity of his beliefs, make this book, along with his others, must reading for preachers and teachers of the Old Testament. . . . Students of the Bible--and preachers in particular--will be well served by the book. Kaiser's easy writing style and incisive narrative combine to make the book a quick and educational read. Faculty teaching courses in Bible and/or preaching should consider using the book as supporting material for the course's main text. . . . Kaiser's call for renewed attention to expositional preaching of the Old Testament is an important one to hear. If you are looking for a quick introduction to the why and how of Old Testament preaching, this book is for you."--Stephen Vantassel, Emmaus Journal

"The evangelical world should appreciate Kaiser's sincere efforts to make sense of the Old Testament and to promote its exposition to this contemporary culture. As always, Kaiser writes clearly and with a deep commitment to the Scriptures as the Word of God. This volume would be an excellent choice to begin a study of Old Testament genres."--Steve D. Eutsler, Pneuma Review