As I’m often asked for book recommendations on various subjects, I decided to put together an online list of my top ten books in various categories. Basically, if I was only allowed 10 books in my library on that subject, these are the ten I would choose. Other posts include:

Today I’m listing my top ten books on Christ in the Old Testament – the ones marked with an asterisk are more suitable for pastors and seminary students.

After my list you’ll find a poll where you can cast three votes for your favorite books and help others choose the best books on the subject. Click on “View Results” to see what books are most popular. You can also add any book not on the list by writing the title in “Other.”

1. Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament by Christopher Wright.

One of the most eye-opening and thought provoking books I’ve ever read. Guaranteed to make you love Jesus more.

2. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament by Sidney Greidanus.*

Classic seminary textbook. Historical survey of the subject followed by most helpful step-by-step guide to preaching Christ from Old Testament texts.

3. Beginning at Moses by Michael Barrett.

Shorter and more readable than Greidanus but covers a wider range of OT genres.

4. Preaching Christ in All of Scripture by Ed Clowney.

The first two chapters will transform the way you read and teach the Bible. Clowney sets forth the principles and practice of finding Christ in Scripture and then putting together a Christ-centered sermon. This is followed by a number of wonderful sermons that demonstrate the “how.”

5. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses by Vern Poythress.*

Especially helpful on typology, not just laying the foundational principles but also explaining numerous examples. Also wonderful insights on the Christ-centered nature of Old Testament law.

6. The Christ of the Covenants by O P Robertson.*

It was the second or third time reading this book before the covenants all fell into place for me. Transformed the Bible and my ministry.

7. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme Goldsworthy.

First part provides the lenses with which to read the Old Testament, followed by many examples of how to preach Christian sermons from different genres of biblical literature. More thematic than exegetical.

8. The Unfolding Mystery by Ed Clowney.

More sample sermons demonstrating how #4 Preaching Christ in All of Scripture is put into practice.

9.  The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis by Nancy Guthrie.

Excellent Bible study series with a good mix of teaching, questions, and discussion starters. See also follow-up Bible studies on various other parts of the Old Testament. See also follow-up Bible studies on various other parts of the Old Testament: The Lamb of God, The Wisdom of God, The Son of David, and The Word of the Lord.

10. Jesus On Every Page by David Murray.

Couldn’t bring myself to make this # 1. I’ll let the voters decide.

Now you decide, what are your favorites? You can cast three votes and add a book if it’s not in the list.

Honorable mentions

If I’d had a Top Twenty the following books would also have been included.

Close Encounters with the Son of God by Jonathan Stephen. If this was still easily available it would have been near the top of the Top Ten List. It deals with the Old Testament Christophanies.

Christ in the Old Testament by Robert Gordon. Again, this four-volume set of sermons would have easily made the Top Ten if it was easier to get.

According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy. A simplified version of Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture.

Christ-centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon by Bryan Chappell. Not specifically about preaching Christ from the Old Testament but much of the material will help with that.

A History of the Work of Redemption by Jonathan Edwards. Covers more than the Old Testament but the Old Testament section, especially the early part, is pure gold.

The Ancient Love Song by Charles Drew. One of the most accessible and readable of books on Christ in the Old Testament.

Messiah in the Old Testament by Walter Kaiser.

Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures by Dennis E. Johnson.

Reader Suggestions

101 Portraits of Jesus on the Old Testament by Bob Beasley (HT: Shawn Anderson)

Look To The Rock by Alec Motyer (HT: Shawn Anderson)

The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik (HT: Dan Phillips)

Messianic Revelation in the Old Testament by Gerard Van Gronigen (HT: Ray Fowler)

On The Trinity by Hilary of Poitiers.

Clavis Cantici by James Durham.

The Prophets Speak of Him by Anthony Salvaggio.

The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made by Mark Dever.

  • Ray Fowler

    Great list! I would add Messianic Revelation in the Old Testament by Gerard Van Groningen.

    • David Murray

      Thanks Ray. I added it.

      • George G

        David – I enjoy your book. Thanks a lot.
        I would add now (especially for the laity) – The Gospel Transformation Bible, and the good treatment of Jean Danielou in From Shadows to Reality. Many blessings!

      • Chita

        Hi David,

        How about “He Began With Moses” edited by Kent, Kissling and Turner?

  • Martin Downes

    Oh, am I allowed to list Hilary of Poitier’s work “On the Trinity”?

    • David Murray

      Added, but deep pockets required!

      • Martin Downes

        Very deep. Are Amazon selling copies written on vellum? Thankfully there are free PDF versions!

    • shawn anderson

      are you referring to this?

  • Dan Phillips

    Michael Rydelnik, The Messianic Hope (

    • David Murray

      Yes, that’s a great book on the subject too.

  • Nathaniel Stamper

    David, thank you for this list!

  • shawn anderson

    Thanks for the list, David! I would have to say that on top of my list would be:
    #1 Clowney & Keller – Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World audio & handouts at:

    I found your class (before the book came out) to be extremely helpful, and I have enjoyed your Angel of the LORD series. It has opened the eyes of many congregations where I have introduced it. I think that there is a need for more media like it for a younger audience not as disciplined in reading.

    Other Noteworthy helps:
    Beasley, Bob – 101 Portraits of Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures

    Motyer, Alec – Look to the Rock

    • David Murray

      Good suggestions. I added the books.

  • Dustin Messer

    The Throne of David, A.G. Herbert

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  • Eric Robinson

    My list would have to include Study of the Types by Ada Habershon, but I’m certainly not as well-read as the others commenting here. ;-)