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Archive for the ‘Biblical Criticism’ Category

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

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

Barton

2014.6.14 | 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 »

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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 »

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 »

Biblical Criticism: A Guide for the Perplexed

In Biblical Criticism, Bloomsbury, Eryl W. DAVIES, Feminist Biblical Criticism, Ideological Criticism, Kerry Lee, Postcolonial Criticism, Reader-Response Criticism on March 10, 2014 at 11:05 pm

2014.3.6 | Davies, Eryl W. Biblical Criticism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. pp. ix + 165. ISBN: 978-0-567-01306-4.

Review by Kerry Lee.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for providing a review copy.

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Biblical Criticism: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Eryl W. Davies, sets out to be an introduction to four of the most prominent and representative post-modernist hermeneutical methods used in biblical studies. It is a quick read (the body is just over 120 pages) that is well-documented and has a very useful bibliography (40+ pages of end matter). Davies’ writing is easy to follow and can be read very rapidly without a significant loss in comprehension, which is very appropriate (and welcome) in primer on methodologies like this. The book consists of an introduction, four chapters (each dedicated to one method), and a conclusion.

Davies chooses for his discussion four contemporary hermeneutical methods that have become prominent in contemporary biblical studies: reader-response criticism, feminist biblical criticism, ideological criticism, and post-colonial criticism.

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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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Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch?: Identifying Literary Works in Genesis through Kings

In Biblical Criticism, Genesis, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, Kerry Lee, Konrad SCHMID, Pentateuch, Scribal habits, Scripture, Septuagint, Society of Biblical Literature, Thomas B. DOZEMAN, Thomas RÖMER on June 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm

2012.06.12 | Thomas B. Dozeman, Thomas Römer, and Konrad Schmid, eds. Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch?: Identifying Literary Works in Genesis through Kings. Ancient Israel and its Literature 8. Atlanta: SBL, 2011. x + 313 pages. $39.95. ISBN: 9781589835429.

Reviewed by Kerry Lee, University of Edinburgh.

RBECS would like to thank SBL for kindly providing us with a review copy.

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Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch? is a collaboration between the Pentateuch and Deuteronomistic History Sections of SBL Read the rest of this entry »

Genesis (New Cambridge Bible Commentary)

In Abraham, Biblical Criticism, Bill T. ARNOLD, Cambridge University Press, Genesis, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Kerry Lee on May 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

2012.05.08 | Bill T. Arnold. Genesis. The New Cambridge Bible Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. xxii + 409 pages. (PB) £16.99. ISBN: 9780521000673. (HB) £50. ISBN: 9780521806077.

Reviewed by Kerry Lee, University of Edinburgh.

RBECS would like to thank CUP for kindly providing us with a review copy.

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Note to the reader: the following review is a good deal longer than what I would submit to an academic journal. In the process of reviewing this commentary, my own professional interest in the book of Genesis and in general hermeneutical method compelled me to address some issues in greater detail. Read the rest of this entry »

James Carleton Paget, “The Reception of F. C. Baur in Victorian Britain”

In Biblical Criticism, Cambridge, F. C. Baur, James CARLETON PAGET, Peter Malik, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm

This is a report on a paper presented by Dr. James Carleton Paget, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies, and Fellow and tutor of Peterhouse, at the New Testament  Seminar, Cambridge, 21 February 2012.

The list of forthcoming papers in the New Testament Seminar at Cambridge can be found hereRBECS is also on facebook, here.

Everyone familiar with the work of Dr. James Carleton Paget is aware of his formidable grasp of the history of biblical interpretation in general, and the 19th century biblical scholarship in particular. Therefore, it was a real treat to hear him present on this particular topic at the Senior NT seminar at the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge. What follows is a brief reflection on the main issues raised by Dr. Carleton Paget, whose paper covered an incredible breadth of information with, I should add, his typical eloquence and unparalleled sense of humour.

First of all, the reception of and reaction to Baur’s work in the Victorian Britain was in many ways analogous to the reception of German theology in general. This was due to several factors. Not only was the knowledge of German amongst English divines limited, but when German theology actually made its way to English theological circles, it was frequently mediated via conservative lenses (and thus often not presented in toto). Read the rest of this entry »