In a day when the greatest story of all time has slipped from view, The Epic of God and Man, by Peter Pikkert, is a welcomed publication. Tracing God's plan of redemption through the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi, this missionary-scholar skillfully retells the older biblical narrative that sets the stage for the ministry of Jesus Christ. Pikkert's prose is easy to read, his ability to summarize complicated material is exemplary, and his articulation of major biblical and theological themes is very helpful. I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand what God has done for human beings as that story comes to us in the scriptures of the Old Testament.
Dr. Michael Haykin
Despite the growth in literacy levels and the advent of the worldwide web, biblical illiteracy is as much a problem today as it has been in other periods of church history. In many of those eras the issue was actual illiteracy. Today, it is an inability to focus upon and digest both the overarching narrative of the Bible as well its details. Enter The Epic of God and Man, an excellent resource for quickly understanding the flow, structure, and finer points of the Bible’s story. Its accessibility and narrative simplicity make it a wonderful resource for both comprehension and teaching.
Dr. George Bristow
Few things are more important for developing a Christian worldview than grasping the grand Biblical narrative from which it arises. Peter Pikkert’s thoughtful and detailed retelling of the Biblical story draws the reader into the story episode by episode in understandable language. It also provides a Christian theological interpretative touch with short comments and cross-references as the story unfolds, unobtrusively helping the reader to see the point of each scene in light of the whole. Highly recommended both for those who have never read through the whole story and for those who know it well, but want a fresh encounter with the real story of God and humanity. This first volume covers the entire Old Testament narrative, leaving us with the hope that the second volume will soon follow.
The Biblical story comes alive in this novel retelling! The thread of God’s love and desire for man is sustained throughout, despite man’s continuing rebellion and selfish short-sightedness. Pikkert has done an excellent job of weaving the Biblical narrative into the fabric of history as God’s hand and purpose unfolds. The lives of Biblical characters and their stories fall into place in a new and dynamic way as the Epic unfolds chronologically. The story is very enlightening for both the first time reader and for the theological student of the Bible.
The chronological sweep through the Old Testament, aptly entited The Epic of God and Man, is a thoroughly engaging read. Peter's interests as a theologian shines through as he wonderfully traces the thread of God's covenant relationships. His thorough understanding of Middle Eastern culture deeply enriches the whole narrative by adding valuable background information. The Epic is easy to read yet profound, with the Old Testament narrative placed in its historical context. Particularly helpful is the story of David, which places many of the Psalms in their original context.
A well told story always appeals to the human soul and mind. In The Epic of God and Man the author has produced a wonderfully flowing narrative that successfully combines historicity, biblical authority, spirituality and an overall sense of the sovereignty of God. The entire account is suitably accentuated with many cultural explanations and clarifications that help us better understand the ancient eastern world. Intended primarily for those with no background with the Bible, it will also be of inestimable help to those who simply wish for a better grasp of the chronology and inter-connectedness of the Word of God.
Dr. Duane A. Miller
In this book Dr Pikkert has provided an easily-intelligible narrative that comprehends the entire story-line of the Bible and communicates it in simple language to the reader (or listener). In a world where even the rudiments of the Christian worldview are often not known at all this project is timely and valuable.
I highly recommend “The Epic“ as a chronological summary of the Old Testament for both the serious and first time Bible reader in order to understand what laid the stage for the arrival of Jesus the Messiah. Dr. Peter Pikkert uses his years of cross-cultural experience to bring insightful explanations to the cultural background of the stories. My personal favorite is the summary of the book of Job, where the author unlocks some insights that have escaped me for years. I look forward to the New Testament sequel.
Dr. John Kayser
There is a desperate need today, especially in this post-Christian era, for God’s people to understand the ways and the dealings of God with mankind. Many Christians have only a “bits and pieces” understanding of the Bible and of the historical flow of God’s purposes for nations and individuals. Peter Pikkert’s book, covering the flow of Biblical history prior to Christ’s coming, is written in a clear and lucid way, in story format, with great readability. For growth in confidence in God’s love and care for you as expressed in the lives of people of old, get this book and read it through. It will encourage you and give you new understanding of our wonderful God.
In The Epic of God and Man Peter Pikkert has, in narrative form, clearly presented the epic story of God’s relationship with man as depicted in the Old Testament. Written to help those who may not be conversant with the Bible or its stories it will, I am convinced, help them develop a better understanding of the story. It is recounted in a manner which is easily read and with historical details clearly identified and explained. This book is also a valuable tool for those who well understand the Biblical narrative. The fact that the entire story is relayed so naturally as a unified whole enables the reader to better understand the scope and flow of this “epic”. As such the book serves as a valuable companion to the myriad of commentaries which focus on the details of the various components of the story. Peter has done a marvelous job in relaying this history in such a readable manner and yet staying faithful to the Biblical account. I, personally, enjoyed reading this “epic” and had my personal insight increased. I would heartily recommend The Epic of God and Man to the novice, the biblical scholar and the many of us who fall somewhere in between.
Rev. Carl Muller
Christians believe that the Bible is the actual Word of God. They also believe that whilst the Bible is clear on the essentials of the faith, God has also provided us with teachers to help us understand the glorious message of Sacred Scripture. Peter Pikkert is one such teacher. With care appropriate for one handling the Word of God, Pikkert unfolds the narrative and proves to be a sure-footed guide down the winding road of the Biblical story. His retelling of the great story is clear and succinct, and he summarizes lengthy accounts with consummate ease. He helps us to see the flow of the story and keeps pointing us forward to the coming of the Christ, who is so eagerly anticipated by Old Testament characters. Even the time stamps at the head of each chapter are helpful. But the best thing about this book is its faithfulness to the Book. Pikkert has accurately and faithfully set before us the Biblical story and surely God will bless this work to the enlightening of many a heart!
Rev. Mark Goudy
There are more Bible study resources and helps available than ever before, and yet there remains an amazing widespread ignorance regarding the plotline of the Bible, even among those who profess to believe it and those who claim to live to obey it. The tendency for many preaching-Pastors to whimsically hop between the Old and New Testaments, giving micro-attention to textual minutiae without giving due weight to the macro-context and purpose of Bible books and characters within the overall story, does little to help their listeners who need to understand the Bible’s overarching “Big Story”: Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration. For without some understanding grasp of the sweeping ‘epic’ from Genesis to Revelation, then even the glorious focus and climax of the story, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will be misunderstood and perhaps, to some, a tad disappointing. Written primarily for those with little or no exposure to or understanding of the Bible story, Peter Pikkert’s superb retelling of the Bible in narrative form is an excellent introduction to help the reader see how all the dots of countless stories of generations of families, of battles won and lost, of failed leaders and broken promises, all join together and point towards the coming of the true prophet, priest and King, Jesus. Peter has stayed faithful to the Biblical text throughout: no embellishments or reimagining conversations simply to hold readers’ attention. Rather, in his retelling, the author uses his lifetime of careful, scholarly and devotional study, along with the insights gained from years living in Middle Eastern culture, to illuminate for the reader moments or episodes of significance that have a bearing on the larger metanarrative and which might easily have been overlooked. For the outsider looking in who wishes to know what the Christian faith is really about; or even for families with older children to be read together; or even for those who want to become more familiar with the Bible storyline, this is a great book about the greatest Story of the greatest Truth ever told. May it be that as you read it that you come to know the One that this Story is all about: Jesus.