I’m often asked, “Where should I begin my study of the Old Testament?” Here’s my answer, extracted from my review of Roots:
So where should you begin studying the Old Testament? I recommend starting with the ESV Study Bible notes or The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (although NIV). They have excellent introductory chapters on each Old Testament book, the presentation is superb, and the content of both the introductions and the study notes are very Christ-centered. Especially study two wonderful sections on Old Testament salvation in the ESV Study Bible (pp. 23-26, 2635-2661).Then move on to read the hundred or so pages in Calvin’s Institutes on the relation between the Old and New Testaments (Book 2, chapters 7-11), followed by Jonathan Edward’s History of the Work of Redemption (especially the first 100 or so pages). That will give you a firm Gospel-centered foundation before you progress to something like Mark Dever’s Promises Made, and then on to some of the more specialized introductions and surveys of the Old Testament: Dillard & Longman’s Introduction to the Old Testament (though too concessive to critical scholarship at times), William Dumbrell’s The Faith of Israel, and the Moody Introductions.