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Archive for the ‘HB/OT’ Category

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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’. Read the rest of this entry »

The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament

In B&H Academic, Biblical Criticism, Eugene MERRILL, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Historical Criticism, Kerry Lee, Mark ROOKER, Michael GRISANTI, Scripture on May 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

2014.5.12 | Merrill, Eugene H., Mark F. Rooker, and Michael A. Grisanti. The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2011. pp. xviii + 618. ISBN: 978-0-8054-4031-7.

Review by Kerry Lee.

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

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The World and the Word, by Eugene Merrill, Mark Rooker, and Michael Grisanti, is a textbook designed for use in undergraduate or seminary Old Testament introduction courses. The niche this book occupies among other OT introductions is found in the position held by the book’s authors toward the Bible, namely a conservative evangelical affirmation of biblical inerrancy and a generally literalistic hermeneutic. Rather than engage in critical dialogue with the theological position of the authors, I want to evaluate this book based on: 1) its success in achieving its own expressed aim, and 2) the degree and extent of its usefulness as an undergraduate Old Testament introductory textbook. Read the rest of this entry »

Job 1-21: Interpretation & Commentary

In Book of Job, C. L. SEOW, Eerdmans, HB/OT, JiSeong Kwon on May 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

9780802848956

2014.5.10 | C. L. Seow. Job 1-21: Interpretation & Commentary. Illuminations Series. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. 999 pages. ISBN:  9780802848956. Hardcover.

Review by JiSeong Kwon, Durham University

Many thanks to Eerdmans for providing a review copy.

The work by C. L. Seow is among the most thoughtful and insightful commentaries on the book of Job. Seow divides this commentary into two parts: ‘Introduction’—whose subsections include ‘Texts and Versions’, ‘Language’, ‘Integrity’, ‘Provenance’, ‘Setting’, ‘Genre(s)’, ‘Structure’, ‘Artistry’, ‘Theology’, and ‘History of Consequences’—and ‘Commentary’—whose subsections include ‘Interpretation’ (with ‘History of Consequences’), ‘Retrospect’, and ‘Commentary’ (textual notes). Each section deals with important issues in the book of Job with thoroughness and scholarly depth. Especially noteworthy are Seow’s discussions of literary technique in the book of Job and the book’s history of interpretation.

The virtue of Seow’s commentary is that he attempts to compensate for the weak points of previous commentators. For instance, the literary genre of Job as a whole is a longstanding matter of debate. Read the rest of this entry »

A Brief History of Old Testament Criticism

In Andrew Knapp, Biblical Criticism, HB/OT, Mark S. GIGNILLIAT, Zondervan on April 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm

2014.4.9 | Mark S. Gignilliat. A Brief History of Old Testament Criticism: From Benedict Spinoza to Brevard Childs. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. 186 pages. ISBN: 9780310325321.

Reviewed by Andrew Knapp

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Creating a digest of biblical criticism is no simple task. Despite the relative youth of the discipline, the last two centuries have witnessed an astonishing array of thinkers and methodologies producing a quagmire of sundry and often contradictory results. Undeterred, Mark S. Gignilliat wades in with the purpose of identifying and describing some of the firmest foundations in this morass, those scholars whose work has ushered in new eras of critical research and birthed new “schools” within the field. By concentrating on seminal figures, he aims to present a history of the discipline, in admittedly broad strokes. The result is a 186-page précis of the field, concise and readable. Both Gignilliat and Zondervan should be commended for this volume—the author for the book’s conception and his lucid writing, the publisher for a well-presented, well-designed (one typo in the table of contents notwithstanding), and affordable product. Read the rest of this entry »

The Concept of Canonical Intertextuality and the Book of Daniel

In Amanda Davis Bledsoe, Book of Daniel, Canonical Intertextuality, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Intertextuality, Jordan M. SCHEETZ, Wipf and Stock on March 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm

CCIBD

2014.3.5 | Jordan M. Scheetz. The Concept of Canonical Intertextuality and the Book of Daniel. Eugene, Oreg.: Pickwick, 2011. ix + 174 pp. ISBN: 9781608995165.

Review by Amanda Davis Bledsoe, University of Munich.

Many thanks to Wipf and Stock for providing a review copy.

In this book, Scheetz constructs “the concept of canonical intertextuality,” using the book of Daniel as a case study. He identifies this methodology as using a particular collection of texts that have been intentionally placed together (i.e., canon) and ordered so that, when read intertextually, the “texts exegete one another through their order and overall placement together, giving a big picture that would not have been possible if textual units had been left by themselves” (p. 34). More specifically, the goal of this concept of canonical intertextuality is “to understand the actual composition of the text of scripture that is at the same time a text and many texts” (p. 31). Read the rest of this entry »

The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero

In Ancient Israel, Andrew Knapp, Archaeology, Biblical Criticism, David (king of Israel), HarperOne, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Historical Criticism, Joel BADEN on January 31, 2014 at 12:00 am

Historical David

2014.1.3 | Joel Baden. The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero. New York: HarperOne, 2013. 310 pages. ISBN: 9780062188311.

Reviewed by Andrew Knapp.

Many thanks to HarperOne for providing a review copy.

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It is often said of historical Jesus studies that each biography reflects the scholar who wrote it more than it reflects Jesus of Nazareth. Let us hope that the same does not apply to historical David studies, because Joel Baden considers the famed king of Israel to be a villainous, duplicitous, overreaching scoundrel. Through Baden’s critical reading of the biblical text, David “is revealed as a thoroughly amoral individualist, concerned only for his own well-being” (98). David was “a vile human being” (259) who “even in his own day, was considered guilty of horrific crimes” (260). Read the rest of this entry »

Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume II: Biblical Studies.

In Biblical Criticism, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, James BARR, John BARTON, Kurtis Peters, Oxford University Press, Scripture on January 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

9780199692897

2014.1.2 | Barton, John, ed. Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume II: Biblical Studies. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. pp. i-xii + 619. ISBN: 978-0-19-969289-7).

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of Edinburgh.

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

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It is no mere flattery to say that this second instalment in Barton’s collection of essays by James Barr is an invaluable addition to any biblical scholar’s library, particularly those in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. James Barr, the prolific writer and frequent formidable adversary, deserved for his writing to be made readily available to as wide an audience as possible. This is what Barton has achieved.

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The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II

In Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Avraham FAUST, Eisenbrauns, HB/OT, Iron Age II, Kurtis Peters on January 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm

FAUARCHAE

2014.1.1 | Avraham Faust, The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II. Translated by Ruth Ludlum. (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2012. pp. xviii + 328. ISBN: 978-1-57506-179-5).

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to Eisenbrauns for providing a review copy.

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Avraham Faust has provided those of us in Biblical Studies with a gift. For decades, biblical scholars have tried to make sense of the society (or societies) represented in the biblical texts. What were they like? How was their social structure organized? Were there significant cultural differences among various regions within the kingdoms of Israel and Judah? These questions were usually answered by appeal to the Bible – whether the things it said or the things it left unsaid – or by appeal to basic synopses of archaeological and ethnographic studies on the matter.

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Prophets Male and Female

In Ancient Near East, Corrine L. CARVALHO, Gender Studies, HB/OT, Jonathan STÖKL, Kerry Lee, Prophecy, Society of Biblical Literature, Women on November 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm

2013.11.21 | Jonathan Stökl and Corrine L. Carvalho (eds.). Prophets Male and Female: Gender and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Ancient Near East. Ancient Israel and Its Literature 15. Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2013. xiv + 347 pages (PB) ISBN 9781589837768.

Review by Kerry Lee, University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to SBL for providing a review copy.

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Concise Review

Prophets Male and Female is an edited collection of papers presented in the Prophetic Texts in Their Ancient Context section of the Society of Biblical Literature’s annual meetings in 2009 and 2010.

Read the rest of this entry »

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