Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture

By Brevard S. Childs | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Twenty-five years ago, when I returned home from four years of graduate study in Europe, the area within the field of Old Testament which held the least attraction for me was Introduction. I supposed that most of the major problems had already been resolved by the giants of the past. Even allowing for the inevitable process of refinement and modification, could one really expect anything new in this area? I was content to leave the drudgery of writing an Introduction to someone else with more Sitzfleisch.

Two decades of teaching have brought many changes in my perspective. Having experienced the demise of the Biblical Theology movement in America, the dissolution of the broad European consensus in which I was trained, and a widespread confusion regarding theological reflection in general, I began to realize that there was something fundamentally wrong with the foundations of the biblical discipline. It was not a question of improving on a source analysis, of discovering some unrecognized new genre, or of bringing a redactional layer into sharper focus. Rather, the crucial issue turned on one's whole concept of the study of the Bible itself. I am now convinced that the relation between the historical critical study of the Bible and its theological use as religious literature within a community of faith and practice needs to be completely rethought. Minor adjustments are not only inadequate, but also conceal the extent of the dry rot.

It is also clear to me that the issues at stake cannot be accurately described with the traditional categories of 'liberal' and 'conservative'. My dissatisfaction has been just as strong with the approach on the 'left' of Wellhausen, Gunkel, and Eissfeldt, as it has been with that on the 'right' of Hengstenberg, Vigouroux, and Cassuto. Nor have the countless mediating positions of Delitzsch, Lagrange, Kaufmann, Engnell, and Albright reached to the heart of the prob-

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Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 15
  • Abbreviations 19
  • Part One - The Old Testament: Introduction 25
  • I - The Discipline of Old Testament Introduction 27
  • II - The Problem of the Canon 46
  • III - Canon and Criticism 69
  • IV - Text and Canon 84
  • Part Two - The Pentateuch 107
  • V - Introduction to the Pentateuch 109
  • VI - Genesis 136
  • VII - Exodus 161
  • VIII - Leviticus 180
  • IX - Numbers 190
  • X - Deuteronomy 202
  • Part Three - The Former Prophets 227
  • XI - Introduction to the Former Prophets 229
  • XII - Joshua 239
  • XIII - Judges 254
  • XIV - Samuel 263
  • XV - Kings 281
  • Part Four - The Latter Prophets 303
  • XVI - Introduction to the Latter Prophets 305
  • XVII - Isaiah 311
  • XVIII - Jeremiah 339
  • XIX - Ezekiel 355
  • The Book of the Twelve XX - Hosea 373
  • XXI - Joel 385
  • XXII - Amos 395
  • XXIII - Obadiah 411
  • XXIV - Jonah 417
  • XXV - Micah 428
  • XXVI - Nahum 440
  • XXVII - Habakkuk 447
  • XXVIII - Zephaniah 457
  • XXIX - Haggai 463
  • Xxx - Zechariah 472
  • XXXI - Malachi 488
  • Part Five - The Writings 499
  • XXXII - Introduction to the Writings 501
  • XXXIII - The Psalms 504
  • XXXIV - Job 526
  • XXXV - Proverbs 545
  • XXXVI - Ruth 560
  • XXXVII - Song of Songs 569
  • XXXVIII - Ecclesiastes 580
  • Xxxix Lamentations 590
  • Xl Esther 598
  • Xli Daniel 608
  • Xlii Ezra and Nehemiah 624
  • Xliii Chronicles 639
  • Xliv the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible 659
  • Index of Authors 672
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