This helpful series clearly explains and demonstrates the most significant methods of biblical criticism in both Old and New Testament studies. Some of the most influential works and innovative insights in biblical studies have been based on one or more of these approaches to biblical criticism. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in the technical theories and terminology without the proper orientation. The Guides to Biblical Scholarship series provides that needed orientation. Whether it is New Testament theology and narrative criticism or Old Testament form and literary criticism, this collection offers clear and concise guides to these influential approaches—enabling students of the Bible to engage the scholarly field and arrive at a deeper understanding of Scripture.
In the Logos editions, these valuable volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture and ancient-text citations link directly to English translations and original-language texts, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches with the Topic Guide to instantly gather relevant biblical texts and resources, enabling you to jump into the conversation with the foremost scholars on issues within biblical criticism. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place so you get the most out of your study.
What is New Testament theology? Does it rightly deal with the documents of the New Testament or does it address extra-textual issues, such as the unfolding of early Christian religion, the events of salvation history, and the historical Jesus? Is New Testament theology a strictly historical project, a dialectical interaction between historical interpretation and hermeneutical concerns, or solely a hermeneutical program?
This lucidly written volume by prominent New Testament theologian Dan O. Via not only describes the past, present, and future of New Testament theology, but provides critiques of the major approaches from the last century. Especially important are his discussions of Rudolf Bultmann, Hendrikus Boers, N. T. Wright, and postmodernism. Via also offers his own mature proposals for doing New Testament theology.
Dan O. Via is professor emeritus of New Testament at Duke University Divinity School.
“Postmodernism” is not simply one perspective, but a basketful of related critical assumptions. A. K. M. Adam prepares readers for wrestling with deconstruction, ideological criticism, postmodern feminism, “transgressive” postmodernism, and other postmodern approaches to biblical interpretation. He offers plain-language explanations and illustrative examples and shows how students can engage these approaches in their own postmodern biblical interpretation.
This valuable volume presents the first widely accessible description of the principles and procedures of narrative criticism written for students and pastors to use in their own exegesis. With great clarity, Powell outlines the principles and procedures that narrative critics follow in exegesis of gospel texts and explains concepts such as point of view, narration, irony, and symbolism. Chapters are devoted to each of the three principal elements of narrative—events, characters, and settings—and case studies are provided to illustrate how the method is applied in each instance. The book concludes with an honest appraisal of the contribution that narrative criticism makes to biblical studies, a consideration of objections that have been raised against the use of this method, and a discussion of the hermeneutical implications this method raises for the church.
This volume provides an introduction to psychological interpretations of the Hebrew Bible and illustrates the method with the Garden of Eden story as a test case. It approaches the text from Freudian, Jungian, and developmental psychologies, comparing and contrasting the different methods and discussing their impact on hermeneutics. The work of Ricoeur is used to establish criteria for adequate interpretation. Genesis 3 presents a particularly fruitful text for psychological interpretation given its importance in modern Western culture. Its themes of sexuality, guilt, consciousness, and alienation are issues of great concern, not only for psychologists, but for society as a whole. Kille locates psychological criticism within the field of biblical studies generally and proposes a hermeneutical framework for describing and evaluating psychological approaches.
D. Andrew Kille is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and is involved in ecumenical projects, such as InterfaithSpace, which is devoted to connecting people from diverse religious traditions. He holds an MDiv from the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, CA, and an interdisciplinary PhD in psychology and biblical studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Kille is also cochair of the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section of the Society for Biblical Literature, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Person, Culture & Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion.
New historicism has been a highly controversial and influential movement in university literature departments for decades. Biblical studies now wrestles with this force and evaluates its potential as a framework for interpretation. With lucid and jargon-free description, this study sets forth new historicism for the nonspecialist. Defining new historicism as a mindset rather than a method, it traces the development, discusses recurring features, and offers illustrations of this new literary approach. In this approach, biblical texts are plunged back into the swirling currents of historical context to disclose their presupposed plural, contradictory, fragmentary, and heterogeneous character. This includes the histories associated, represented, and embedded in those texts. In the process, the carefully guarded distinctions between text and context, history and literature, past and present, fade.
Gina Hens-Piazza is associate professor of Old Testament studies at Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. She is also the author of Of Methods, Monarchs, and Meanings: A Sociorhetorical Approach.
In this helpful volume, Thomas W. Overholt shows the usefulness of cultural anthropology to enhance our understanding of ancient Israelite society and to shed light on some puzzling features of Old Testament stories. In addition to introducing the use of cultural anthropology in Old Testament studies, Overholt also focuses on the Elijah and Elisha cycles to illustrate the application of this research method.
This volume offers a convenient introduction to the unique aspects of interpreting the poetic texts in the Hebrew Bible. The failure to distinguish poetry from prose in the Old Testament has often resulted in flawed interpretation. Robert Lowth’s Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews (1753, 1787) marked a turning point of major proportions by focusing on the importance of Hebrew parallelism. But new studies of the past decade now require significant adjustments to Lowth’s analyses. Interpreting Hebrew Poetry offers an authoritative introduction to this discussion of parallelism, meter and rhythm, and poetic style. It also demonstrates the application of poetic analysis by using Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 5:1–7, and Psalm 1 as examples of poetic texts from each major division of the Hebrew Bible.
Hebrew poetry is a dense, rich, and often enigmatic [genre] that calls for and evokes careful reading . . . The goal of this volume is to provide a guide both to the recent scholarly discussion and to understanding Hebrew poetry itself.
—Gene M. Tucker, associate professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
David L. Petersen is the associate dean of faculty and academic affairs and Franklin N. Parker Professor of Old Testament at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He was the senior Old Testament editor for The New Interpreter’s Bible and several T&T Clark volumes. He is currently the Old Testament editor for The Common English Bible and recently served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is a member of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta.
Kent Harold Richards is professor of Old Testament at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He is the editor and author of several volumes on Old Testament studies.
The recovery of the history of the ancient Near East through archaeology is one of the major achievements of the modern age. The impact of this new knowledge on biblical matters is surveyed with special focus on archaeological methods. Lance discusses the principles of excavation and how archaeological discoveries are applied biblical studies. The book explains in detail the principles of stratigraphy and typology, suggests practical ways for the beginner to find needed information in the confusing array of primary and secondary publications, and takes a brief look at the future of biblical archaeology as a discipline.
H. Darrell Lance is professor emeritus of Old Testament at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and has served as annual professor at Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He was also a former coeditor of Biblical Archaeologist and associate director of excavations at Tell Gezer in Israel.
Because of its long oral tradition, the Old Testament includes an array of different literary types and compositions. Analysis of these genres in the biblical material is known as form criticism. Gene Tucker draws on contemporary speech patterns to illustrate how the scholar pinpoints various categories or genres. The basic principles of form criticism are outlined and many biblical examples are given. The story of Jacob’s struggle at the Jabbok and the prophetic literature are treated in detail. While form criticism does not solve all the interpreter’s problems, Tucker argues that it forms an essential tool for exegesis and for recovering the living history of Old Testament literature.
Gene M. Tucker is professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology. He has also served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. A member of the Candler faculty for 24 years, Tucker has previously served as chair of a number of SBL task forces and was a member of the Old Testament Committee for the Revised Standard Version Bible. He also is the author, co-author, or editor of eighteen books and the author of more than sixty journal articles and reference works, including The New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. 6: Isaiah to Ezekiel.
This well-written introduction to literary criticism gives the reader an awareness and appreciation of the rich diversity of thought found in the Old Testament. The student is shown how to identify the elements of structure, style, form, language, and composition in the books of the Old Testament. Norman Habel demonstrates how literary criticism works with examples which are familiar and well-suited for a beginner’s level of study. After exploring the literary features of Genesis 1–9, Habel focuses on the importance of the Yahwist and priestly sources for the whole Pentateuch. This book’s explanation of techniques used in the process of literary criticism will be valuable to both student and professor.