The book of Exodus is sometimes viewed with scepticism—but need not be.
The stories it contains record a turning point in history where God begins to relate to human beings in a new way, and a nation takes its first faltering steps. A reluctant hero is chosen to lead a group of people who are not sure they want to be led at all. We can see ourselves reflected in the strains of the people in conflict with a major power of their day, and sometimes with each other.
This second book of the Bible yields much that may go unnoticed by a cursory reading. There are lessons to learn, and an absorbing scene to watch—the gritty life of Jacob's descendants played out in the arena of ancient Lower Egypt. On close inspection we are able to figure out which pharaoh is in power, why Moses is sent to tend sheep in the wilderness, how Aaron acquired his metallurgy skills—and why he used them to cast a golden calf.
Exodus for Ordinary People highlights many events that may have puzzled us when we've read the book of Exodus before, but the answers are there if we look.
PAUL POULTON : Exodus for Ordinary People. (Resource Publications : ISBN 9781498288927)
Exodus for Ordinary People follows on from where Paul’s previous book, the not-unexpectedly entitled Genesis for Ordinary People left off. In that previous work Paul challenged us to rethink the book of Genesis and encouraged us to see the Seed of God’s salvation, i.e. Jesus, running throughout the book. In this follow up work, Paul continues to challenge and excite us, with a scholarly yet accessible work designed to restore the historical credibility of the book of Exodus. From his detailed analysis of the relevant dates of key events to comparisons with other historical sources, particularly in respect of Egypt, Paul builds up a picture of the book of Exodus as a reliable historical account and not, as some people would have us believe, a fantastic work of fiction.
As Paul says early on in the book “People sometimes look for reasons to distrust the Bible…We believe the bible because God has breathed on it, not because every small point can be proved. Faith must come first, but once faith is in place we begin to find that historical accuracy is also there when we look from the correct angle”. That is a succinct a summary of how we should approach the bible as any I’ve come across and underpins how Paul then goes onto to elucidate Exodus for us.
Whilst as easy to follow as its predecessor it is, in my opinion, a superior work, slightly shorter with shorter chapters (and shorter overall) but with excellent depth and plenty of content. The book reaches a wonderful peak in Chapter 26 “God Speaks” in which Paul sets out the context of each of the Ten Commandments to help us understand why God needs to give such commands to the Israelites and, indeed, to us. The author has found his style, clearly has the proverbial bit between his teeth and I am sure it won’t be long before he follows up with a similar work on Leviticus. An excellent and highly recommended book. Only 64 more to go….
10/10 Robin Thompson - Published in Never For Nothing