Reinhard Kratz and James E. Atwell offer two important resources for students of the Old Testament. Kratz provides an exceptional introduction to the narrative works of the Old Testament, beginning with the Chronistic writings and moving on to the Torah, the prophets and the priestly writings. Atwell demonstrates the Old Testament’s historicity in the midst of the culture and religion in which it was developed, namely the Ancient Near East and Canaan.
The Composition of the Narrative Books of the Old Testament
Author: Reinhard G. Kratz
Translator: John Bowden
Publisher: T&T Clark
Publication Date: 2005
Reinhard Kratz provides an introduction to the narrative works of the Old Testament, explaining their sources and the nature of their composition. In his textual criticism he relies on certain basic assumptions: a distinction between Priestly and non-Priestly text in the Pentateuch, the special position of Deuteronomy, a Deuteronomistic revision in the books of Joshua to Kings, and the literary dependence of Chronicles on the books of Samuel and Kings. Kratz expects his readers to “look at the texts of the Old Testament,” as they read the material presented in his book, especially as he describes the content of biblical passages.
Reinhard G. Kratz is Professor of Old Testament, University of Göttingen. Kratz was an assistant in the Department of Old Testament at the University of Zurich and held a Visiting Fellowship position in Christ Church College, Oxford. He has studied literary history and theology of the Old Testament, Ancient Near Eastern prophecy, and Judaism in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.
The Sources of the Old Testament: A Guide to the Religious Thought of the Hebrew Bible
Author: James E. Atwell
Publisher: T&T Clark
Publication Date: 2004
In The Sources of the Old Testament, James Atwell explains the main ideas found in the Old Testament in their own historic context. One such idea is the significance of creation and the Creator. The reader is led to understand how these ideas formed the broad horizon of biblical theology and raised many of the big questions that are grappled with in the Old Testament. These include nature and the environment, respect for creation, the distinction between Creator and creature, and human destiny. For Atwell, the Hebrew Scriptures “connect us with the initial flowerings of human civilization.” He believes the Hebrew Scriptures have been written from a perspective convinced of God’s involvement in history. Each section ends with a number of questions to link the ideas found in the Old Testament to modern concerns.
James E. Atwell studied at Oxford and Harvard, and was Dean of St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk, until 2006. He is currently Dean of Winchester.