Who needs the Old Testament? It might be a literary classic, but what relevance does it have today? How much of it can we believe anyway? Katharine Dell invites you to rediscover the appeal of the Old Testament for the twenty-first century. In doing so she deftly refutes hard-line attacks by writers such as Richard Dawkins; she firmly critiques the atheistic agenda of those scholars who seek to undermine the Old Testament's historical grounding; and she helpfully reassures those within the church who express doubts about its usefulness as a resource for Christian life and thought. Written by a world expert, this book will help many, both inside and outside the church, to gain a more informed appreciation of the different kinds of literature contained in the Old Testament, and a more nuanced understanding of the developing vision of God to which they witness. ""Dell confronts the 'New Atheists' head-on, demonstrating how their reading of the Old Testament ignores its cultural context and misrepresents its account of God, the world, and humankind. With equal rigour, she examines the conflicted intersection between Church and Academy, where scholarly skepticism seeds a growing clerical reluctance to preach and teach the Old Testament. . . With the skill of a scholar and the passion of one committed to the work of the church in the modern world, Dell demonstrates why and how the Old Testament offers a rich and realistic account of life in all its messiness. As she puts it, the Old Testament 'can be our friend, even if a challenging one at the end of the day'."" --Samuel E. Balentine, Professor of Old Testament, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Virginia Katharine Dell is Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology, and Fellow, Tutor, and Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. A world expert on the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, her most recent books include Ethical and Unethical in the Old Testament (2010), Opening the Old Testament (2008), and The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context (2006).