Reviews of

The Testing of God’s Sons: The Refining of Faith as a Biblical Theme

In B&H Academic, Genesis, Gregory S. SMITH, HB/OT, Kerry Lee, Linguistics, Pentateuch on September 3, 2014 at 8:29 pm

2014.9.15 | Gregory S. Smith. The Testing of God’s Sons: The Refining of Faith as a Biblical Theme. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2014. pp. xviii + 222. ISBN: 9780805464184.

Review by Kerry Lee.

Many thanks to B&H Academic for providing a review copy.

The Testing of God’s Sons by Gregory S. Smith is primarily an exploration of the literary theme of “testing”, a theme that is especially important in Genesis but that, Smith also argues, is a unifying theme in the entire Pentateuch and even the entire Christian Bible. Additionally, to support his case, he engages in a limited semantic field analysis of common Hebrew terms that communicate the idea of testing. He argues that underlying the use of these terms is a metallurgical metaphor, and Smith finds that one particular term that is important to his literary analysis of the theme of testing in the Bible, Hebrew bāḥan, is connected to the idea of a “touchstone”, meaning the purpose of the testing is authentication (more than “refining” or “revealing”).

Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volumes I and III

In Biblical Criticism, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, John BARTON on August 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Barton

2014.5.14 | James Barr. Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. 3 volumes. Edited by John Barton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013-2014. 1985 pages (HB). ISBN 9780198261926.

Reviewed by Garrick V. Allen, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to Oxford University Press for providing a review copy.

“It is fair to say that very few scholars who can write convincingly on wide questions of biblical interpretation and hermeneutic, as well as on general theology, also have the expertise to operate at this [linguistic] microscopic level, and to do so in a way that can command the interest of readers not themselves learned in this area” (vol. 3: p. 2)

This now complete set of Professor Barr’s essays is a formidable addition to any scholar’s library.The nearly 2000 pages of this collection speak to Barr’s prolific career of exploring the concentric concerns of Bible, theology, linguistics, exegesis, philology, Semitics, and other areas. As volume 2 of this set has previously been reviewed for this publication, I will focus my attention on volumes 1 and 3 at this time. The content of Barr’s articles are not in need of critical re-evaluation.

An Introduction to the Study of Wisdom Literature

In Bloomsbury, HB/OT, JiSeong Kwon, Stuart WEEKS, Wisdom Literature on May 12, 2014 at 11:50 am

9780567184436

2014.5.13 | Stuart Weeks. An Introduction to the Study of Wisdom Literature. T & T Clark Approaches to Biblical Studies. London and New YorkT & T Clark2010. Pp. ix + 165ISBN 9780567184436. Paperback.

Review by JiSeong Kwon, Durham University.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for providing a review copy.

Stuart Weeks in this book provides a concise and insightful introduction to Israelite Wisdom Literature for beginners to biblical studies. The entire biblical wisdom corpus (including deuterocanonical texts) is reviewed—the book of Proverbs, the book of Job, Ecclesiastes, the wisdom psalms, the Wisdom of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch 3.9-4.4, and the Wisdom of Solomon—as well as wisdom texts from Qumran. This scholarly work, however, is very distinctive compared with other sorts of introductory books of Wisdom Literature such as those by Roland E. Murphy, James Crenshaw, and Leo Perdue, in that Weeks carefully examines the conventional thoughts in terms of the origin and the cultural setting of ‘Wisdom Literature’.

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