Current Old Testament survey or introduction

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by Joseph M. Smith, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    When I went to seminary, ink was scarcely dry on the Old Testament!

    Well, I am not quite THAT old, but I'd like to know what is currently being used in seminaries as an Old Testament survey or introduction book. For example, back in my day it was Bernhard W. Anderson's Understanding the Old Testament, which has gone through several revisions.

    What could I read that would bring me up to date with trends in Old Testament studies generally?
     
  2. exscentric

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    Uhhh, try the Old Testament, it is from a great author and tends to be pretty accurate. :wavey:
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I should have thought that a straightforward question deserves a straightforward answer. Of course I am studying the OT itself, and preaching from it rather often too. Nonetheless it would be good to update my knowledge of OT criticism and the like. I'm just wanting to know what is in current use.
     
  4. Deacon

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    Introduction to the Hebrew Bible by John J. Collins
    Augsburg Fortress Publishers (March 1, 2004)

    The book provides a good introduction to the OT and the modern critical perspectives surrounding its study today.

    At 600+ pages it's quite long and heavy, even for a paperback.

    It comes with a CD-ROM [Libronix] making the whole text searchable and more assessable for research.

    Rob
     
  5. Deacon

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    ACTUALLY...on second thought

    A better book for YOU may be Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation, Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament

    A controversial book that eventually lead to Peter Enns dismissal from Westminster Theological Seminary.


    Rob
     
    #5 Deacon, Jul 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2009
  6. exscentric

    exscentric
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    I should have thought that a bent smiley would deserve a straigtforward response to humor. :tongue3::wavey::laugh:
     
  7. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Deacon, Both your selections look good, but the Collins item is more of what I want ... a comprehensive OT introduction, with attention to the critical issues. I've read the reviews on Amazon and will order it.

    But I have to know why the emphasis on "YOU" (as in me) when you went to the Enns book? Did you think a 71-year-old could not carry a 600 page book around? <grin>
     
  8. Deacon

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    No Joe, I thought an introductory text (albeit a heavy one) might be too light for you.
    Enn's goes into deeper detail but has a limited scope.

    A word of warning to those interested in purchasing either book.

    It’s not for beginners or those new to the faith.
    Should you purchase it and find yourself struggling, lay it aside.

    Some of the critical issues discussed in the books hit close to the core of some basic beliefs that are central to the faith.

    IMO though, knowing and recognizing these issues helps me to better understand our God who revealed himself to us through the Scriptures we diligently study.

    Rob
     
  9. Timsings

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    The book I use to supplement my commentaries for SS lessons from the OT is Walter Brueggemann's Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy, Fortress Press, 1997. If you're not familiar with Brueggemann, he is a very prolific writer with published works on all parts of the OT. He teaches at Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  10. Joseph M. Smith

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    Yes, I am familiar with Brueggemann. And actually what I starting reading first is a book to which he contributed, A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament. Its lead author is Bruce Birch, a friend of mine who just retired as dean at Wesley Theological Seminary here in Washington. It's slow going, but it is at least introducing me to the changes in critical method over the past half century.
     

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