“And Now for Something Completely Different!”
That phrase, the opening line for each episode of the groundbreaking British comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus, might well describe this book, for it is not a standard introduction to the Old Testament. This book should be treated instead as a thought experiment that investigates the question, “What does the Old Testament teach us about moral development?” The answer that I will develop over the course of the book is that it calls us to develop wisdom to live in a complex world full of competing voices. This is, in short, what I am calling the moral story of the Hebrew Bible. In fact, I will go further to suggest that reading the Old Testament as Hebrew Bible actually initiates its readers into a process of moral development, the end point of which is wisdom.