Why read the Old Testament? For me, the best reason of all is that it has great stories.
Compared to the NT, OT narratives are long and complex. They run for multiple chapters, even full books, and we often trace generations of the same family. The tales are psychologically and ethically complex: who did Jacob really wrestle in the night? Why didn’t/couldn’t David care for or punish his children? What was the real nature of David’s sin–raping a woman or taking someone’s wife? For centuries, readers have found (and lost) themselves in these stories.
Because of my interest in the stories of the Bible, I’m launching a new project on my website: Reading the Bible as an Adult: A Reading Guide for Book Clubs, Bible Studies, Reading Groups, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Read the Bible as a Grown-up. The goal of the project is help readers appreciate the richness of the stories, to go beyond childhood images, and to have conversations based on the Bible that are as deep and real as the conversations their book club may have had over The Red Tent or A Million Little Pieces. The stories of the Bible deserve to be read as the powerful literature they are.