TRADITION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT*
Konrad Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck
Universities of Heidelberg and Zurich
In his impressive book from 1968, Exile and Restoration, Peter Ackroyd primarily found restoration expectations in the prophetic tradition in those places where one was, at the time, certain of the ground-breaking beginnings of the restorative change in ancient Israel. He found these expectations already in Ezekiel and, of course, in Deutero-Isaiah, Haggai, and Zechariah.1 In his book, Ackroyd also took up additional texts,2 and ultimately even presented a brief sketch of the development of the idea of restoration.3
Such proceedings involve too much selectivity and too many predeterminations for the contemporary perspective of the transmission of prophetic books. One must not just search in prophetic books, or parts of prophetic books, from the exilic/postexilic period. Rather, one must investigate prophetic books and series of books as such, including those books transmitted under the names of preexilic figures.
* Article translated by James D. Nogalski.
1 P. R. Ackroyd, Exile and Restoration: A Study of Hebrew Thought of the
Sixth Century BC (OTL; London: SCM Press, 1968) 110–217. Compare recent
overviews of Old Testament prophecy's restoration statements in K. Koch, The
Prophets (2 vols.; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982); K. Koch, “Propheten/Prophetie
II. In Israel und seiner Umwelt” TRE 27 (1997) 477–99 (491–94); J. Blenkinsopp,
A History of Prophecy in Israel: From the Settlement in the Land to the
Hellenistic Period (2nd ed.; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996) 194–245; J.
Barton, “Postexilic Hebrew Prophecy,” ABD 5 (1992) 489–95. For a recent
discussion of the question, see B. Becking and M. C. A. Korpel (eds.), The Crisis
of Israelite Religion: Transformation of Religious Tradition in Exilic and Post-
Exilic Times (OTS 42; Leiden: Brill, 1999).
2 Ackroyd, Exile, 218–31.
3 Ackroyd, Exile, 232–56 (esp. 247ff.).