A Light to the Nations is a singularly well-organized survey of ancient Israel in its historical continuity, with special attention to the literature of the Old Testament viewed through the lens of historical-critical method. The book interweaves literary, historical and theological approaches, combining the best features of other scholarly texts that are strong in only one of these points of view. Thus it is not just an exegesis of the biblical books, nor simply a history of Israel, nor purely a theological study, but a synthesis of the interests and values of all three.
Throughout, connections between the faith of Israel and that of the later synagogue and church are stressed. An immensely useful section on Canon and Text gives the student a knowledge of the Old Testament's ancestry that is foundational to studying the biblical text. The book is richly supplied with maps, illustrations, a glossary, recommended further reading, and translations of eleven chief ancient Near Eastern texts related to the Bible.