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The Old Testament 101

Length: 14 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This is one of those remarkable courses thoughtful Catholics like you have clamored for. An insightful and enjoyable survey of the entire Old Testament in 36 lively lectures you can experience while driving or at home. 

Throughout the ages, the Old Testament has shaped both culture and belief, while calling forth astounding creativity, fostering deeply held religious convictions and inspiring breathtaking masterworks of art, music, and literature - from Michelangelo's David to Handel's Messiah and Milton's Paradise Lost

The Old Testament can be known as a magnificent whole, yet often you encounter it mainly through worship readings that are limited in number and may be out of context. While they have value even then, their power to teach, inform, and sustain faith only becomes greater when you, as a listener, become as well informed about them as you can be. 

Giving you that wonderful sense of the Old Testament as a magnificent whole is what Father Guinan's wise, warm talks are all about. They invite you on an adventure of the mind and soul with the aim of discovering the inner greatness and beauty of these 46 grand Biblical books anew. 

After receiving a thorough grounding in basics, you will explore elements of the history, literature, culture, theology, and spirituality that these books teach us, and that make up so much of what the Christian faith means today. 

©2007 Now You Know Media Inc. (P)2007 Now You Know Media Inc.

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Vital subject matter hindered by poor presentation

The subject matter here is obviously very important: a holistic, bottom-up approach to studying the Old Testament. The narrator makes it clear from the beginning that he is unable to go into a great deal of detail in any one part of the Old Testament, and that is more than understandable.

I'm still working my way through the lectures (about a quarter way through now), but from what I've heard so far, my key complaint is the presentation. The narrator is extremely knowledgeable and knows how to weave a compelling academic narrative about the text. However, his style of speaking is so deflated, unenthusiastic and seemingly-bored that it is difficult to listen for any extended period of time. The combination of the strict historical-critical methodology with which he approaches the text and the disinterested, sleepy style in which he presents it is almost a killer for me. The faithful look to our spiritual leaders to both instruct and encourage. One without the other is lacking a fundamental ingredient, in my opinion.

I half expect the narrator to let out a big, defeated sigh as he begins a new 25-minute lecture! It feels like he's saying to himself, "Here we go again... How many more of these left?" As a husband, parent and full-time employee, my time for study is precious and scarce. It needs to count! So spending it on material that is in someway deficient, intellectually or (as is in this case) emotionally/inspirationally, just isn't worth it.

I think this lecture series will be edifying for many, and the content is solid. But I imagine it will take me a long time to get through these lectures. I'll need to concoct an effective morning-commute blend of a Fr. Guinan lecture mixed with a homily from a more forward-leaning priest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful