Song of the Vineyard: A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament

Song of the Vineyard: A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament

Song of the Vineyard: A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament

Song of the Vineyard: A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament

Excerpt

Thus says the Lord.

The Old Testament is a story. It is an expression of the full range of human emotions from exalted or passionate love to bitterest hate. The story has been narrated and written in prose and poetry, song and hymn, liturgy and prayer; it uses allegory, humor, irony, hyperbole, and all other devices to convey its meaning.

It is the story of a people-ancient Israel's history over a period of some fifteen hundred years. But it is not merely a record of the past, for as the people of Israel told and wrote the story it was continuously re-created as a commentary on the meaning of Israel and the life of its people. Although the events related took place in the centuries long before our era, the meaning Israel found in her own history has had persistent relevance to all subsequent human existence, not only to Judaism but to Islam and Christianity.

It has been common to label the Old Testament as literature, history, or theology, but it is all three and cannot be categorized so simply as to its purpose and form. It offers examples of consummate literary skill; parts can be ranked with the best of the contemporary ancient histories; and nowhere else in all the world's literature and history is God so consistently and passionately the center of action and contemplation.

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