The Old Testament is a library of varied, sometimes difficult, always fascinating books. And yet the ‘God of the Old Testament’ is often seen as violent, angry and monochrome, at odds with the ‘Christian God’. Katharine Dell invites us to discover the Old Testament as essential to 21st Century Christian life and thought, not passing over its difficulties, but offering a more nuanced understanding of the many types of literature it contains and of the developing vision of God to which it witnesses. Starting from the New Atheists’ attacks on the Old Testament, we will explore some of the more difficult texts and others that are more familiar and palatable in a Christian context.
Dr Katharine Dell is Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology at the University of Cambridge. She is a world expert in the Old Testament’s Wisdom Literature, and her publications include popular and academic books including Ethical and Unethical in the Old Testament (T&T Clark 2010), and Who Needs the Old Testament: Its Enduring Appeal and Why the New Atheists Don’t Get It (SPCK 2017).