Understanding the Value of the Pentateuch
For Dr. Ian J. Vaillancourt, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Heritage Theological Seminary, the books of the Pentateuch are foundational to one’s understanding of Scripture. However, he says that he often hears that these first five books of the Bible can seem intimidating or hard to understand for many believers as they read them.
Out of a motivation to help Christians see the treasure found in these five introductory books of the Bible and come to a better understanding of the gospel through the Pentateuch comes Vaillancourt’s latest book published by Crossway, The Dawning of Redemption: The Story of the Pentateuch and the Hope of the Gospel.
Looking back to his life, he recalls how, as a new Christian, the New Testament seemed much more familiar than the Old Testament. Vaillancourt says that it was through the help of numerous mentors and other resources that he began to see the importance of learning and growing in his faith through understanding the Bible as a whole. This conviction ultimately drew him to gain a deep value for the Pentateuch and how it helps Christians fully understand and appreciate the gospel.
“Just like missing the first fifteen minutes of a movie would spoil our ability to fully appreciate the rest of the story, so missing the essential first act of the Bible’s grand story compromises our ability to fully understand the gospel,” says Vaillancourt.
In his new book, Vaillancourt provides readers with an accessible and helpful introduction to the Pentateuch—covering all five books by examining critical themes found throughout its pages—including creation, salvation, genealogies, and covenants. In doing so, he explains that one of its main goals is to provide Christians with a big-picture sense of the Pentateuch to equip readers of the Bible to read these books well for themselves.
“My burden is to help people read the Bible on their own,” explains Vaillancourt. “It can be easy to get lost in the details of the Pentateuch and miss the big picture. My book was written as a sort of road map to help readers navigate the details on their own.”
One of the other main hopes that Vaillancourt holds for his new book is that it would also help Christians today see how the main themes found throughout the Pentateuch connect to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
“By doing this, I hope to reinforce that Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the hope begun in the first five books of the Bible.”