Reviews of

Archive for the ‘John BARTON’ Category

Ethics in Ancient Israel

In Ancient Israel, Ethics, HB/OT, John BARTON, Kengo Akiyama, Oxford University Press on December 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm

9780199660438

2015.12.22 | John Barton. Ethics in Ancient Israel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. pp.xii + 317. ISBN: 978-0-19-966043-8

Review by Kengo Akiyama.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

In this book, John Barton argues that sustained reflection on ethics already existed in ancient Israel well before Socrates who is usually credited as the first to reflect on morality from a philosophical perspective. Instead of the more common approach of analysing the ethics of the Old Testament, that is, morality prescribed or implied by the Old Testament (a theological construct), Barton looks for historical evidence of ‘ethical thinking’ in ancient Israel (a historical description). He advances two theses in this book: [i] ‘the documents we have from ancient Israel do not portray ethical obligation exclusively in terms of obedience to the declared will of God,’ and [ii] ‘the very idea that there was critical reflection on moral issues in ancient Israel’ (p.12). The book consists of introduction, ten chapters, conclusion, bibliography and indices. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bible and Interpretation: the Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume III: Linguistics and Translation.

In HB/OT, James BARR, John BARTON, Kurtis Peters, Oxford University Press on November 21, 2014 at 12:00 am

2014.11.20 | Barton, John, ed. Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume III: Linguistics and Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. £120. pp. 816. ISBN: 978-0-19-969290-3.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters,
University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

James Barr’s contributions to scholarship are many and varied, as already witnessed by volumes I and II of his essays collected by John Barton, but his contributions to the study of biblical languages are perhaps his greatest. This volume alone is one third larger than each of the previous two volumes and speaks to the amount of time and effort he spent working to hone the field and sharpen its level of analysis. One need only think of some of his famous monographs The Semantics of Biblical Language, or Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament in order to observe the impact he has made on Biblical Studies. The present volume, however, consists of his smaller contributions – smaller, that is, in terms of printed size, not in terms of significance. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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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John Barton, “Law and Narrative in the Pentateuch”

In Edinburgh, HB/OT, John BARTON, Kerry Lee, Pentateuch, SEMINAR REPORTS on October 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm

A report on a paper given by Professor John Barton (Oriel College, Oxford University) at the Biblical Studies Seminar at New College, the University of Edinburgh, 14 October 2011.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. You can find RBECS on facebook, here.

Professor Barton’s paper was an exploration of the problem of the relationship between the legal and narrative texts of the Pentateuch. The paper consisted of six points/sections: (1) an introduction of the problem, (2) a review of the Jewish interpretive tradition which has foregrounded the legal texts, (3) a review of the Christian tradition which, in contrast, foregrounded the narrative texts but in a prophetic light, (4) an exploration of two broad purposes for narrative with a national scope (such as, but not limited to, royals annals), one positive and one negative, which would provide a rubric by which to foreground the narrative texts, (5) a third suggestion for the purpose of narratives which integrates the legal texts for the modern reader, and finally (6) a look ahead to some work which is breaking down the generic barriers between narrative and law, perhaps providing yet another solution to the problem. Read the rest of this entry »