Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 107:426 (Apr 50) p. 244
In the Beginning. By Solomon Goldman. Harper Brothers, New York. 892 pp. $5.00.
Following his recent Introductory Volume (see review in April-June, 1949, number of Bibliotheca Sacra) this more pretensious work—almost twice the length of the Introduction—bears the label Volume II. It is a study of the book of Genesis and evidently sets the pattern for Dr. Goldman’s projected massive multi-volumed treatment of the whole Old Testament, scheduled to appear in future installments.
The author arranges his material under two general headings. First, translation, commentary and analysis of the book, with brief chapters on historical background, authorship, style and philosophy; second, comments from profane and secular literature. This latter treatment, as in Volume I under the heading of “Echoes and Allusions,” forms the bulk of the book (pp. 115-728). In the reviewer’s opinion this method of treatment, while admittedly useful for a mere literary or academic study of the Bible, is of little or no help to a student interested in the spiritual message of the Book or in the solution of textual or interpretational difficulties. “Profane” literature’s interpretation of the Bible is so distorted or romantically imaginative that it is practically worthless from a serious theological or exegetical standpoint. It, therefore, seems a pity to devote the bulk of a purportedly serious volume to it, when so many other textual, interpretational and historical problems cry for treatment. The usefulness of Dr. Goldman’s work to the serious Biblical scholar is accordingly greatly reduced.
Dr. Goldman’s treatment of such important matters as historical background, authorship, style and philosophy, while often brilliantly constructive and unshackled by the vagaries of the Documentary Hypothesis, is yet all too brief. Had the author devoted himself to exhaustive scholarly and constructive treatment of these themes and omitted the great array of comparatively useless literary quotations, he would have
BSac 107:426 (Apr 50) p. 245
put serious Biblical scholarship under a greater indebtedness. However, the conservative tendency of treatment and the excellent indices give the volume a degree of usefulness which otherwise it would not have.
Professor Merrill F. Unger
Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. By C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch. Volumes I-III. Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids. 501, 486, 431 pp. $10.50.
In republishing these conservative and eminently useful volumes representing the best of evangelical German scholarship of the nineteenth century, the Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing House has performed a great se...
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