The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age

The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age

The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age

The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age

Excerpt

The six chapters that make up this book were delivered as the Gunning lectures at the School of Divinity of the University of Edinburgh between November 1 and 12, 2004. I would like to thank the Edinburgh faculty for extraordinary hospitality and stimulating discussion. In the first place, my thanks are due to Timothy Lim, who initiated the invitation, suggested the topic, and served as my primary host. Others who deserve special thanks include David Ferguson, Graeme Auld, Nicolas Wyatt, Larry Hurtado, Marcella Althaus-Reid, and Nicholas Adams.

The topic proposed to me for the lectures was β€œThe Bible at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century.” What I have written might be characterized more aptly as an account of some of the main changes in the study of the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament in the last third of the 20th century. This account is not exhaustive. Many other topics might in principle be treated. Perhaps the most obvious omission is the ongoing debate about the origin of the Pentateuch. Insofar as that debate entails the erosion of the certainties of an earlier generation, it would offer one more instance of the general pattern described in this book. But I trust that the issues I have chosen are adequately representative of the major trends in scholarship of this period. These are also issues where there has been extensive debate and where retrospective assessment is now possible. I have not seriously engaged newer, cutting-edge developments, such as Third World scholarship or Queer Theory. No doubt, these developments will be important as the . . .

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