Charles Halton of awilum has developed a list of what he considers to be the “Top Ten Old Testament Scholars Since 1800.” It is a good list, but I disagree with his numbers 9 and 10.
At number 9 he lists John Van Seters and Thomas L. Thompson because of their contribution to the minimalist debate. At number 10 he lists William Dever because of his work as an archaeologist.
I believe that the work of Van Seters and Thompson has elicited much debate but the debate does not make them top Old Testament scholars. Dever is a good archaeologist but he cannot be considered a top Old Testament scholar either.
I agree with numbers 1-8 in Halton’s list. However, I would list Albrecht Alt at number 9 and S. R. Driver at number 10. Although Alt never published many books (most of his publications were articles), he has greatly influenced Old Testament studies with his seminal articles. Driver’s commentary on Deuteronomy and his An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament are great examples of works written by a top Old Testament scholar.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary