>Book Reviews – Old Testament

>The Society of Biblical Literature has released its latest issue of The Review of Biblical Literature. Among the books reviewed, the following reviews are of interest to Old Testament students:

Bill T. Arnold

Reviewed by Jan-Wim Wesselius

Description: This commentary is an innovative interpretation of one of the most profound texts of world literature: the book of Genesis. The first book of the Bible has been studied, debated, and expounded as much as any text in history, yet because it addresses the weightiest questions of life and faith, it continues to demand our attention. The author of this new commentary combines older critical approaches with the latest rhetorical methodologies to yield fresh interpretations accessible to scholars, clergy, teachers, seminarians, and interested laypeople. It explains important concepts and terms as expressed in the Hebrew original so that both people who know Hebrew and those who do not will be able to follow the discussion. “Closer Look” sections examine Genesis in the context of cultures of the Ancient Near East. “Bridging the Horizons” sections enable the reader to see the enduring relevance of the book in the twenty-first century.

Adam Green
King Saul: The True History of the First Messiah

Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Description: Spurred on by a childhood fascination with the Tanakh, which brought to his attention the discrepancy between the English rendering of Samuel 21:19 and the original Hebrew, Adam Green builds upon recent research to show that later authors revised 1 Samuel with the specific intention of defaming Saul. In the process, these revisionist authors glorified the character of David, significantly distorting the true nature of events. Green systematically works through the Biblical text, highlighting its illogical chronology, and drawing attention to apocryphal incidents, before reconstructing a more plausible sequence for the story. a fresh analysis of a maligned figure and a comprehensive guide to the First Book of Samuel, Green’s interpretation returns Saul to his rightful place as the one genuine Messiah.

Bernard M. Levinson
“The Right Chorale”: Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation

Reviewed by J. Glen Taylor

Levinson’s book is a collection of twelve previously published essays dealing with Biblical laws and how they have been interpreted by scholars. According to the reviewer, this is how
Levinson’s describes the common theme to these essays: “The conviction underlying and unifying these essays is that theory—a model of hermeneutics—is already implicit in the biblical text” (vii). In other words, “the authors of the biblical texts were themselves readers and interpreters, conscious of their place in literary, legal, and intellectual history in ancient Israel, and aware that they were living in a world where the ‘word’ was already a textualized word, and was not simply immediate.”

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary


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