Known as one of America’s best theologians and one of the world’s foremost scholars on the Old Testament, Walter Brueggemann has inspired young scholars and students and driven the discourse on theology with some of the biggest players in contemporary Bible scholarship.
In this completely revised edition of a true classic, Walter Brueggemann thoughtfully examines four different sets of David narratives. Each narrative reflects a particular social context, a particular social hope, and a particular community. Thus these stories offer a distinctly different “mode of truth” concerning this pivotal biblical figure. The tribe, the family, the state, and the assembly each has a different agenda and thus draws a very different portrait of the one who helps define them and is defined by them.
With the Logos Bible Software edition, you can journey through this volume with today’s most advanced tools for reading and studying God’s Word. All Scripture passages are linked to your library’s original language texts and English translations. Enhance your study with Logos’ advanced features—search by topic to find out what Brueggemann teaches on the Exodus, or find every mention of “Psalm 91” throughout his works.
Walter Brueggemann through his teaching, lecturing, and writing, has effectively demonstrated the significance of the Old Testament for our fractured world today. Recognized as the preeminent interpreter of the ancient texts in relation to questions posed by a variety of academic disciplines, he has shown the way toward a compelling understanding of the major components of the faith and life of ancient Israel, especially its Psalms, the prophets, and the narratives. His award-winning Theology of the Old Testament quickly became a foundational work in the field.
Brueggemann, who holds a ThD from Union Seminary, New York, and a PhD from St. Louis University, is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He was previously professor of Old Testament at Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis. His many Fortress Press books, including The Threat of Life: Sermons on Pain, Power, and Weakness, exhibit a fecund combination of imaginative power, sound scholarship, and a passion of justice and redemption.
“The main point was to see that the David narratives were neither reportage of historical reality nor descriptions of what had transpired. They were, rather, artistic construals and imaginative reconstructions; consequently, the whole notion of ‘truth’ in the book is used playfully if not ironically.” (Page ix)
“First, it should be understood that we are not interested here in the ‘historical David,’ as though we could isolate and identify the real thing. That is not available to us. And even if it were, it would not be nearly so interesting or compelling as the ‘constructed’ David that the tradition has given us.2 What is important is that David is the engine for Israel’s imagination and for Israel’s public history. This David is no doubt a literary, imaginative construction, made by many hands. So we must settle for that.” (Pages 1–2)
“My analysis is concerned with the convergence of social context, literary articulation, and theological claim, for none of the three will stand without the other two.” (Page 6)
“One may then understand this narrative to be hopeful, because it tells, generation after generation, that the marginal ones can become the legitimate holders of power. David is told and retold as a paradigm for all those who yearn for such social transformation. David is a model for the last becoming first, and the story should only be told when we intend to make that subversive claim.” (Page 13)
“I intend to focus on the question of truth. That means I do not inquire about facticity—what happened—but what is claimed, what is asserted here about reality.” (Pages 2–3)