Tradition and Interpretation

By G. W. Anderson | Go to book overview
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IN none of the previous volumes in this series was apocalyptic singled out for special treatment. In The People and the Book,1 apart from a few incidental references, it is but briefly brought in, in the chapter on 'The Value and Significance of the Old Testament in Relation to the New'. In Record and Revelation2 it is again only briefly dealt with in the chapters on 'The Literature of Israel' and The Old Testament and Christianity', whilst in the later volume, The Old Testament and Modern Study,3 it is barely mentioned.

The reason for the absence of any treatment of apocalyptic in this latter volume is not so much that apocalyptic had been neglected by Old Testament scholars. In the period there surveyed much work had been done, though it cannot be said to have matched the formidable output on apocalyptic and its related literature by R. H. Charles and others in earlier decades of this century. In particular H. H. Rowley, the editor of that volume, had himself contributed much in this field and had published his well known work The Relevance of Apocalyptic in 1944, and produced a second edition of it in 1947, which went into a second printing in 1950.4 But notwithstanding this and other contributions, apocalyptic was at that time greatly overshadowed by other fresh trends in Old Testament studies. It was the discussion of these trends which formed the basis and purpose of that volume and which Rowley adumbrated in his introduction to it, an

Ed. A. S. Peake, Oxford, 1925.
Ed. H. Wheeler Robinson, Oxford, 1938.
Ed. H. H. Rowley, Oxford, 1951.
Three further impressions of the 2nd edition appeared subsequently and a 3rd edition was published in 1963. References in the ensuing pages of this essay are to this 3rd edition.


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