Understanding the Bible
The History Books
Our life is a story that begins with our birth and ends with our death, at least in earthbound terms. When someone asks us to tell that story, we don’t share every detail. Rather, we select and emphasize episodes that have significance to us and to the person to whom we are speaking. I will tell my life story differently to my grandchildren than I will to my potential employer, yet my story will be accurate in either case.
Knowing our life story helps us understand who we are in the present. For instance, I decided to embark on a career teaching the Bible because the woman I fell in love with and married encouraged and supported me as I spent countless hours pursuing the necessary degrees.
This booklet will focus on those books that continue the story of Israel as they cross into the Promised Land (a period also known as the Conquest). We will follow the story through the time of the Judges, the United Monarchy (when Israel was a unified nation), the Divided Monarchy (when Israel was divided into Israel in the north and Judah in the south—two kingdoms), the exile, and the restoration of God’s people from exile. In other words, we will explore the books of Joshua through Esther.
Tremper Longman III