Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 157:627 (Jul 00) p. 366
By The Faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary
Matthew S. DeMoss, Editor
Old Testament Theology. By Paul R. House. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998. 655 pp. $34.99.
This volume makes a unique contribution to the field of Old Testament theology because it is one of only a few works of its kind written by an evangelical Old Testament scholar. House is straightforward about his conservative convictions on matters of historicity, dating, and specific details of Old Testament theology. However, this is no “in-house” work. Besides discussing fairly the views of nonconservative scholars, with whom he disagrees on a number of issues, he also draws on scholarly publications from various perspectives.
One of the strengths of this volume is that it interacts with a wide spectrum of academic opinions of Old Testament theology. In fact his documentation alone includes nearly two thousand endnotes! If there is a weakness in this work, however, it is that House limits his interaction almost exclusively to publications on Old Testament theology, rarely venturing into relevant exegetical, historical, or critical discussions that impact the content of Old Testament theology. The work as a whole could have been strengthened by interaction on the exegetical foundation that forms the basis for an Old Testament theology.
House, an Old Testament professor, first at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, and now at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, has written this book primarily for college and seminary students. Therefore he has intentionally included more description and summary of biblical texts than would have been the case if his target audience had been the academic guild. (Perhaps this is a reason for the lack of more exegetical, historical, and critical interaction.) While scholars and teachers of the Old Testament will certainly benefit from his presentation and organization of the material, students who are less familiar with the content of the Old Testament itself will particularly profit from his approach. Although the length of this publication might put off some professors from adopting this as a textbook for a single-semester college course on Old Testament survey, it could easily be adapted for a multiple semester sequence of Old Testament college courses or as the primary text for a seminary course.
One of the strengths of the book is its introductory chapter, which summarizes the history and method of Old Testament theology from the time of Johann Gabler’s groundbreaking essay in 1787 up to major contemporary publications as recent as 1993 (the year House began writing his manuscript). He summarizes the high points, and he points out the
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