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Book review: First volume of 'Verse by Verse' a valuable aid to Old Testament study

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

"Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, Vol. One, Genesis through 2 Samuel, Psalms" is by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner. (Deseret Book)

Editor's note: The following is part of a series featuring select materials intended to supplement the study of church curriculum for 2014.

"VERSE BY VERSE, THE OLD TESTAMENT, VOL. 1: Genesis Through 2 Samuel, Psalms" by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner, Deseret Book, $37.99, 484 pages (nf)

“Verse by Verse, The Old Testament, Volume One: Genesis Through 2 Samuel, Psalms,” by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner, is a valuable aid to understanding the first part of the Old Testament.

“We are certain that students of the Old Testament will find much in it (the book) to nurture their passion for intellectual and spiritual growth, learning and understanding,” the authors state in the book’s preface.

Text references include the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, statements made by modern-day prophets and historians, the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible, the LDS Bible Dictionary and other Biblical historians, such as Josephus.

Several charts and tables, black and white illustrations, a six-page bibliography and an index are also included.

The books of the Old Testament are discussed chronologically, which isn't necessarily their order in the Bible. Volume 1 of the two books covers the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, Psalms and 2 Samuel.

Commentary for each verse often includes cross-references to other relevant scriptures and sources for further study.

Written in a clear, easy-to-read manner, the book is a well-researched reference tool for Old Testament study.

The authors credit Ellis T. Rasmussen’s "A Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament," which was published in the 1990s, for approximately one-third of the volume’s content.

Ogden is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University whose studies have focused on Hebrew and the Holy Land.

Skinner is a professor of ancient scripture and Near Eastern studies at Brigham Young University. Both men have taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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