Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
MSJ 11:2 (Fall 2000) p. 239
David W. Baker and Bill T. Arnold, eds. The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Grand Rapids: Apollos/Baker, 1999. 512 pp. $34.99 (cloth). Reviewed by William D. Barrick, Professor of Old Testament.
General introduction to the OT needs constant updating to stay abreast of current trends and issues regarding text, canon, criticism, historiography, and archaeology. Most available general introductions are outdated in their discussions of current issues. In 1985 The Hebrew Bible and Its Modern Interpreters edited by Douglas A. Knight and Gene M. Tucker (Minneapolis: Fortress) was published in order to call attention to current (at that time) and potential issues. Although the volume is admirable, it possesses three weaknesses: (1) It does not take an evangelical stance; (2) it is at least fifteen years outdated; and, (3) it is more fitting as a text for students in a Master of Theology or a doctoral program than for a student pursuing a Master of Divinity degree or an informed lay person. The Face of Old Testament Studies, on the other hand, is evangelical in stance, up-to-date, and makes a practical text for M.Div. students or informed lay persons. This volume is a welcome survey of developments in the field of OT studies from 1970 to 1997 (with some minor updates as late as April 1999).
The volume consists of the following sixteen essays: “The Text of the Old Testament” by Al Wolters (19–37), “Epigraphic Light on the Old Testament” by Mark W. Chavalas and Edwin C. Hostetter (38–58), “Archaeological Light on the Old Testament” by Mark W. Chavalas and Murray R. Adamthwaite (59–96), “Literary Approaches to Old Testament Study” by Tremper Longman III (97–115), “Pondering the Pentateuch: The Search for a New Paradigm” by Gordon J. Wenham (116–44), “Historiography of the Old Testament” by V. Philips Long (145–75), “Early Israel in Recent Biblical Scholarship” by K. Lawson Younger, Jr. (176–206), “The Historical Study of the Monarchy: Developments and Detours” by Gary N. Knoppers (207–35), “Exile and After: Historical Study” by H. G. M. Williamson (236–65), “Israelite Prophets and Prophecy” by David W. Baker (266–94), “Wisdom Literature” by Bruce K. Waltke and David Diewert (295–328), “Recent Trends in Psalms Study” by David M. Howard, Jr. (329–68), “Recent Studies in Old Testament Apocalyptic” by John N. Oswalt (369–90), “Religion in Ancient Israel” by Bill T. Arnold (391–420), “Opening Windows onto Biblical Worlds: Applying the Social Sciences to Hebrew Scripture” by Charles E. Carter (421–51), and “Theology of the Old Testament” by R. W. L. Moberly (452–78). Indexes include
MSJ 11:2 (Fall 2000) p. 240
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