The Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry carry themselves differently from those of the Pentateuch, the histories, or the prophets. The divine voice does not peal from Sinai, there are no narratives carried along by prophetic interpretation, nor are oracles declaimed by a prophet. Here Scripture often speaks in the words of human response to God and God’s world. The hymns, laments, and thanksgivings of Israel, the dirge of Lamentations, the questionings of Qohelet, the love poetry of the Song of Songs, the bold drama of Job, and the proverbial wisdom of Israel all offer their textures to this great body of biblical literature. Then too, there are the finely crafted stories of Ruth and Esther that narrate the silent providence of God in the course of Israelite and Jewish lives.
This third Old Testament volume in InterVarsity Press’ celebrated “Black Dictionary” series offers nearly 150 articles covering all the important aspects of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth, and Esther. Over 90 contributors, many of them experts in this literature, have contributed to the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry, and Writings. This volume maintains the quality of scholarship that students, scholars, and pastors have come to expect from this series.
Coverage of each biblical book includes an introduction to the book itself as well as separate articles on its ancient Near Eastern background and its history of interpretation. Additional articles amply explore the literary dimensions of Hebrew poetry and prose, including acrostic, ellipsis, inclusio, intertextuality, parallelism, and rhyme. And there are well-rounded treatments of Israelite wisdom and wisdom literature, including wisdom poems, sources, and theology. In addition, a wide range of interpretive approaches are canvassed in articles on hermeneutics, feminist interpretation, form criticism, historical criticism, rhetorical criticism, and social-scientific approaches.
The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry, and Writings is sure to command shelf space within arm’s reach of any student, teacher, or preacher working in this portion of biblical literature.
A stellar cast of younger and senior scholars has put together a handbook for the study of the writings of the Old Testament. While one will find easy access to the expected and necessary basic information on the various books of wisdom and poetry, there will be some interesting surprises for readers as the authors take up theological, rhetorical, metaphorical, and sociological dimensions of this literature. An important sign of the times is the fact that for each biblical book, major attention is given to the history of its interpretation.
—Patrick D. Miller, professor emeritus of Old Testament theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
At last, a fully comprehensive, fascinating compendium of information about Psalms, Wisdom literature, and other writings of the Old Testament! From characters such as Ruth to major wisdom books such as Job, from scholarly method to major theological themes, this volume gives us articles of real depth and substance. Its broad and thorough remit includes contributions on Jewish and Christian tradition, festival worship, ancient Near Eastern background, and Hebrew language from a range of highly qualified experts in the field. An essential reference book for all serious-minded students of the Hebrew Scriptures.
—Katharine J. Dell, senior lecturer in Old Testament studies, University of Cambridge
This volume in the acclaimed InterVarsity Press Bible dictionaries will serve to further enhance the reputation of the series. Longman and Enns have brought together a great team of authors to cover wisdom, poetry, and writings of the Old Testament. This volume is comprehensive and up to date as, for example, the articles on history of interpretation and intertextuality indicate. This volume will be an invaluable resource for students, pastors, and scholars as they seek to hear God’s address through these biblical books. The wisdom and poetic books have not always received the attention they deserve, and this volume will play a significant role in addressing that imbalance. Highly recommended!
—Craig Bartholomew, H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy and professor of religion, Redeemer University College, Ontario, Canada
This volume on wisdom, poetry, and writings covers over 100 topics like acrostic poetry, Old Testament ethics, Psalms of lament, Messiah, retribution, rhetorical criticism, and worship. The articles are scholarly but accessible and unintimidating. Both pastors and laymen will be able to profit from this dictionary without having to know or read Hebrew.
—David Wenkel, Christian Library Journal
Tremper Longman III (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Yale University) is Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. He is also visiting professor of Old Testament at Mars Hill Graduate School, visiting professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, and adjunct of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He lectures regularly at Mars Hill, Regent College in Vancouver, and the Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary. Longman is the author or coauthor of over 20 books, including An Introduction to the Old Testament (with Raymond B. Dillard) and many others.
Peter Enns (PhD, Harvard) is professor of Old Testament at Eastern University. He has also served on the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary as professor of Old Testament. He is the author of several books, including the Two Horizons Commentary: Ecclesiasties and the NIV Application Commentary: Exodus.