Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Is There Theology in the Hebrew Bible?

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Is There Theology in the Hebrew Bible?

Article excerpt

Is There Theology in the Hebrew Bible? By Konrad Schmid. Translated by Peter Altmann. Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible, Volume 4. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2015. vii + 155 pp. $29.95 (paper).

The concept of "theology" in the Hebrew Bible is explored in Is There Theology in the Hebrew Bible?, masterfully written by Konrad Schmid and skillfully translated by Peter Altmann. Schmid aims to scrutinize the internal biblical evidence for theological data within the Hebrew Bible, and "to clarify how a suitable concept of theology for Hebrew Bible studies can be developed on the basis of biblical studies and the evidence in the Bible" (p. 3). In chapter 2, Schmid traces the concept of "theology" beginning with Plato, Aristotle, Josephus, Philo, the early church, and the Reformation period, and concludes with the rise of biblical criticism and Old Testament theology. This kind of a historical overview allows readers to gain access to ancient Greek resources referring to "theology" in their own religious context. In this study, Schmid interacts with a variety of German theological perspectives, including Karl Barth's dialectical theology, Gerhard von Rads Old Testament Theology, and Rainer Albertz s A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period. Furthermore, Schmid draws the readers attention to the Biblical Theology Movement in North America, and he maintains that theological questions stemming out of the biblical text are "still comparatively strongly anchored within the organization of the discipline" (p. 46).

In turn, chapter 3 investigates the theological reflections embedded within the Hebrew Bible and known as "implicit theology" (à la Rudolf Bultmann). These theological articulations are traced throughout biblical and extra-biblical texts, including Jeremiah, Isaiah, Pentateuchal narratives, Psalms, Jubilees, the Temple Scroll, and Jewish apocalyptic literature. Reflecting on the process of theologization as articulated within the biblical writings, Schmid convincingly claims that "the boundaries of the canon do not appear to play a qualitatively decisive role in this matter" (p. 53). According to Schmid, the Book of Chronicles is a noticeable example of a "new literary work as an indicator of intensified theological reflection" (see a subtitle on p. …

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