What Does the Book of Joshua Contribute to the Bible?

Gerald Vreeland
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It is impossible to think through the Bible without including Joshua. The bare fact of “Israel in the land” presupposes the people getting there. Many of the cities mentioned in the conquest are revisited in the drama of biblical narrative. Soon enough the story will spiral into the despair engendered in the epoch of the Judges; but for now, at the outset, Joshua presents the conquest of the land with Joshua and Israel just as God had promised Abraham.

Joshua sets a context for what follows in the OT. Judges would be a theological whiplash (how something begun so well could proceed so poorly!) without the words, world, and themes of Joshua. Readers would know less that obedience leads to blessing had that truth not first appeared in Joshua.

Furthermore, the events recorded in Joshua are referenced in significant ways in the Old and New Testaments. After the Babylonian captivity, the reader is told that Israel had not celebrated the Festival of Booths since the days of Joshua (Neh 8:17). Also, Stephen mentions the tabernacle crossing the Jordan with Joshua (Ac 7:44-45). There is, finally, the contrast between the “rest” that Joshua gave Israel from war and the “rest” believers have in Christ (Heb 4:8).

For Further Reading:

The Moody Bible Commentary

by Michael A. Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham

Imagine having a team of 30 Moody Bible Institute professors helping you study the Bible. Now you can with this in-depth, user-friendly,...

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