We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. The Old Testament is an important text for a lot of people for a wide variety of reasons. Whether your interest is based on faith and worship or historical curiosity, one of the books on our list will get you up to date on the most relevant knowledge regarding one of the most influential collections of all time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

7. On the Reliability of the Old Testament

K. A. Kitchen’s On the Reliability of the Old Testament is a rousing and spirited attempt to reconcile the archaeological record with the history presented within the texts. Those looking to refute friends who call it fiction will find it a comprehensive resource.


  • Includes plentiful tables and maps
  • Writer is a prominent egyptologist
  • Older evidence can be spotty












Publisher K A Kitchen
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

6. How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament

Practicing pastors will appreciate How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament, a book that makes the case for utilizing it more often in liturgical settings. Lay readers can also enjoy it as a look into what makes for a good sermon.


  • Includes useful checklists
  • Example sermons available
  • Only useful for christians












Publisher HarperCollins Christian
Weight 10.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. The Bible Unearthed

The Bible Unearthed couples a critical eye with an archaeological approach to situate the religious text in history. Those who expect anyone doing that work to only be interested in reaffirming their biases might be a little surprised.


  • Considers absence of evidence
  • Generates great conversations
  • Requires knowledge of the tanakh












Publisher Free Press
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

4. A Survey of the Old Testament

A Survey of the Old Testament is best for those who need to brush up on their studies or who can’t quite get through a particular chapter without some aid. Plus, it addresses things like these books’ relationship with the New Testament.


  • Full color inserts
  • Covers major themes by book
  • Binding is somewhat cheap












Publisher HarperCollins Christian
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

Those looking to do an in-depth study are almost required to have a copy of the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. It contains a collection of definitions and short essays about specific Hebrew words that detail their theological significance.


  • Good for those learning hebrew
  • Its arguments are clear
  • Compact considering the subject












Publisher Moody Publishing
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. A Very Short Introduction

Part of a well regarded series that exposes new readers to large concepts or thinkers, A Very Short Introduction will give you exactly what it purports to. It’s best for those interested in the context as much as the content.


  • Summarizes diverse perspectives
  • Works as a refresher
  • Very approachable for academic work












Publisher Michael D Coogan
Weight 4.3 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures

Michael Coogan’s and Cynthia Chapman’s A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures helps undergraduates and professors alike to learn some of the best ways to approach the canonical text. It is primarily a historical look with a critical take.


  • Covers every book
  • Includes review questions
  • Good visual aids












Publisher A Historical and Litera
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0