If you believe as I do that variety is the spice of life, this collection of articles will add zest and savor to your study of the Old Testament. In selecting and preparing these essays for this collection, it was my hope to provide a wide range of readings taken from the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium series. Therefore, the articles in this publication touch on a variety of aspects of Old Testament study. Some authors discuss the Old Testament itself, others offer explanations and interpretations, and still others use the Old Testament as a springboard to discuss Restoration theology.
Without any doubt, the best and most important commentary on the Old Testament is the Book of Mormon, with the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants not far behind. Many of the authors in this collection make extensive use of the latter-day scriptures to help explain Old Testament concepts and themes. Their example demonstrates how we as a people can approach other aspects of the Old Testament using Restoration scripture to guide us.
The prophets of this dispensation also have not been silent about the Old Testament. In fact, without the foundation of the Old Testament, many aspects of the Restoration would not be comprehensible. The prophets of the Restoration have not shied away from pointing out Old Testament grounds for Restoration concepts, and thereby they have provided us with invaluable insights. Therefore, I have also tried to select articles that display a liberal use of prophetic commentary. In our continued study of the Old Testament, as Latter-day Saints, we should pay more than lip service to the prophets, seers, and revelators of this dispensation.
All of us can use a little stretching once in a while. Therefore, though most of the authors’ offerings are readily accessible to all Latter-day Saints, a few present more technical material that will give readers a chance to dig deeper and expand their understanding.
For those who would like to read more, I have included a list of all the published lectures, beginning with the 1978 symposium. They represent some of the best Latter-day Saint commentary that has been produced on the Old Testament. Some years the themes were very broad and other years the topics were held within fairly narrow bounds. If you are a serious student of the Old Testament, I encourage you to avail yourself of the entire series, without neglecting the scriptures of the Restoration or latter-day prophetic commentary.
Paul Y. Hoskisson