The big news in 1974 was the arrival of the first volume of the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament edited by G. J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren (Eerdmans). This Old Testament counterpart to the famous Kittel work on the New Testament is considerably more international and interconfessional than Kittel, but more important is the selection of words and the approach taken. Studying words as a basis for theology has been sharply criticized, notably by James Barr. Nevertheless, Kittel has been found very helpful by a host of pastors and teachers, and I predict the same usefulness for this new venture. Among the most important articles are those on ’abh (father) by H. Ringgren, ’adham (man) by F. Maass, ’ish (man) by N. P. Bratsiotis, ’el (name of God) by F. M. Cross, and ’elohim (God) by H. Ringgren. The last two articles, covering a wealth of ancient Near Eastern as well as biblical material, provide the reader with a masterly summary of Hebrew and cognate concepts of God. Three more volumes are projected, all in the clear translation of John T. Willis of Abilene Christian College. Each of us will remain in the debt of the authors, editors, translators, and publishers for this worthwhile and momentous venture.

COMMENTARIES Especially notable was Brevard S. Childs’s The Book of Exodus (Westminster). Childs, a Yale professor, has in recent years broken new ground with his much publicized call for a return to studying Scripture in the context of its canonical form as received by the Christian Church (see his Biblical Theology in Crisis, Westminster, 1970). Now, in a massive new volume, he has applied his own principles to a theologically important Old Testament book. In a sharp break with recent practice, Childs approaches his task in a sixfold way: (1) textual and philological notes, (2) literary and history-of-tradition problems, (3) Old Testament context (the canonical shape of the text), (4) New Testament context (how the text became the Word to the Church), (5) history of exegesis (including Jewish and classical Christian interpretation), and (6) theological reflection (a contemporary model of how the text speaks to theological issues in the Church today). Childs claims that sections three, four, and six are the heart of his commentary, and anyone familiar with scholarly exegesis in the past century will immediately recognize here a re-emergence of a largely forgotten emphasis. Here is a major contribution, both as to method and as to content.

A second major commentary is Robert G. Boling’s Judges in the Anchor Bible series (Doubleday). Scholars will follow with interest his greater confidence in and dependence upon the Septuagint text as represented in Codex Alexandrinus (contra the Massoretic, and justified by Dead Sea evidence), while the more popular audience, for whom the series was intended, will find a wealth of archaeological illustrations for this little-known period. Also from Westminster comes a continuation of Otto Kaiser’s major work, Isaiah 13–39. While relegating the important chapters 24–27 to “late apocalyptic,” Professor Kaiser characterizes much of the rest of Isaiah 13–35 as “proto-apocalyptic,” an intermediate stage in the eventual removal of Israel’s hopes from the realm of history.

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A major forty-year-old work on Genesis (Ktav) by B. Jacob, a pre-Nazi German rabbi, was translated and considerably abridged by his son and grandson, also rabbis. Jacob’s rejection of the documentary hypothesis is noteworthy. Two crucial portions of Genesis are the focus in Creation by Claus Westerman (Fortress) and The Drunkenness of Noah by H. Hirsch Cohen (University of Alabama). Like Jacob, Rabbi Cohen rejects JEDP. The flood was God’s means of cleansing earth from gross sexual depravity. The effects of the eruption of an Aegean island are portrayed as having a key role in shaping the biblical flood narrative.

A long-awaited volume is Hans W. Wolff’s Hosea (Fortress), the first entry in the Old Testament section of the prestigious Hermeneia series. Although rich in grammatical helps and replete with extensive footnoting, this commentary will be of value to a broadly constructed audience. The author, a noted German form critic, has given us the first extensive technical commentary on Hosea in recent years.

In a smaller volume projected as the first of a series, British evangelical J. A. Motyer deals with Amos under the title The Day of the Lion (InterVarsity). Although there is little detailed help on the technical aspects of text and composition, this short book brings to life the person and message of the prophet with a scholarly clarity that will speak volumes to the contemporary reader. We look with keen anticipation toward the forthcoming offerings in this series, The Voice of the Old Testament.

Six brief but important volumes were added to the growing list of Cambridge Bible Commentaries based on the New English Bible. Deuteronomy by A. Phillips, Joshua by J. M. Miller and G. M. Tucker, Jeremiah 1–25 by E. W. Nicholson, and Ezekiel by K. W. Carley are joined by two commentaries on apocryphal books: Ecclesiasticus by J. G. Snaith and The Wisdom of Solomon by E. G. Clarke.

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Study guides and short commentaries continue to come from a variety of sources, attesting to the widespread interest in study of Scripture. Of all that I have seen, only Bernard L. Ramm’s His Way Out: Exodus (Regal) is a full commentary. From Victor comes How God Can Use Nobodies, studies of Abraham, Moses, and David by James M. Boice, and Staying Off Dead End Streets, a look at Ecclesiastes by R. W. De Haan, while from the pen of Don W. Hillis comes Jonah Speaks Again (Baker). Out of the Depths (Westminster) offers a form-critical (and generally helpful) introduction to various Psalms by B. W. Anderson.

SURVEYS Last year saw the first full-length treatment of Old Testament theology by a noted American Roman Catholic. A Theology of the Old Testament (Doubleday) by John L. McKenzie will show how little distance there is between the Catholic and Protestant biblical communities, and will also spark a healthy debate among practitioners of this discipline. McKenzie’s outline for doing Old Testament theology reflects his strong conviction (contra Brevard Childs et al.) that any attempted unity between Old and New Testaments will be artificial. His categories are: cult, revelation, history, nature, wisdom, institutions, and the future of Israel. Under these rubrics he attempts to extrapolate a common “encounter with Yahweh” theology, with more indebtedness to von Rad, Heidegger, and Bultmann than to traditional Roman Catholic dogmatics.

The Gospel of Moses (Harper & Row) is really an overview of the thought of the entire Old Testament. For the author, veteran Wheaton don Samuel J. Schultz, Deuteronomy’s relational covenant of love, as reformulated by Jesus in Luke 10:25–28, is the key to all Scripture. The People of Ancient Israel (Harper & Row) by J. K. Kuntz is yet another well-written college text offering standard critical positions. By contrast, W. W. Steven’s A Guide For Old Testament Study (Broadman), designed for high school students, avoids any mention of critical issues. Two other volumes, also largely school-oriented, are D. B. J. Campbell’s The Old Testament For Modern Readers (John Knox) and F. W. Jarvis’s Prophets, Poets, Priests and Kings (Seabury). The former is better informed, though neither will have great appeal for conservative audiences.

ARCHAEOLOGY Significant both for its own merit and also for the subject covered is Kathleen M. Kenyon’s Digging Up Jerusalem (Praeger). Fine line drawings, 122 plates, and an unusually lucid text make this the best choice for a clear understanding of the noted author’s important excavations during 1961–68. Those interested in Christian history will find her support for the traditional site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stimulating reading. A second major offering in this field comes with publication of the 1959 Schweich lectures by Roland de Vaux in a volume descriptively entitled Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls (British Academy). These lectures, published for the first time in English (from a newly revised French text), cover in detail the site of ancient Qumran and the surrounding area. A third chapter contains the late archaeologist’s personal statement on the authenticity of the Dead Sea material and reaffirms a probable Essene provenance for the scrolls. Also published recently is R. Harker’s Digging Up the Bible Lands (Walck), a popular, Jewish-oriented survey of archaeology in the Ancient Near East and Israel.

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SPECIAL TOPICS A fine contribution from Asbury professor G. Herbert Livingston comes in The Pentateuch in Its Cultural Environment (Baker). The author, at home in the worlds of archaeology, Near Eastern history, and biblical studies, sets forth the books of Moses in their cultural, linguistic, and historical environment. A valuable critique of contemporary Old Testament views of composition of the Pentateuch is supplemented by an extensive alternate analysis of a positive nature. This balanced, creative, and informed book should become a standard conservative text in its field.

Proclaiming the Promise (Fortress) by F. R. McCurley, Jr., is an application of the “promise and fulfillment” motif to the question of contemporary Old Testament preaching. In The Ten Commandments For Today (Harper & Row) prolific Glasgow scholar William Barclay calls for a reemphasis on law as the necessary and desirable basis for any kind of nation or community. Two volumes from Behrman House will help Protestants respond to the current revival of interest in classical exegesis. Jewish Biblical Exegesis by L. Jacobs begins with selections from Rashi in the eleventh century and documents the exegetical method of eighteen other Jewish scholars down to our own time. The Rabbi’s Bible, Volume 3: The Later Prophets edited by S. Simon and A. Rothberg is a school text on rabbinic method.

Old Testament Form Criticism edited by J. H. Hayes (Trinity University) is a most substantial series of essays. Six younger American scholars discuss what form criticism is and is not, where it has come from, and where it is going. Chapters on narrative, law, prophecy, Psalms, and wisdom show a wide variety of applications and limitations inherent in the method. Equally useful is Rediscovering the Traditions of Israel by D. A. Knight (Scholars’ Press, Missoula, Mont. 59801). In more than four hundred pages the development of “tradition-history,” especially in Scandinavia, is traced and evaluated. R. W. Klein’s short but useful Textual Criticism of the Old Testament is another in Fortress Press’s series of Guides to Biblical Scholarship, which provide the best laymen’s introduction to various aspects of technical research. In The Desert Bible (St. Martin’s), Morris Seale contends that the Old Testament can best be understood in the light of the nomadic origins of the people. This book is likely to provoke controversy. B. A. Levine’s In the Presence of the Lord (Brill) is a splendid study of the biblical terminology of sacrifice. Also from Brill comes J. Neusner’s The Idea of Purity in Ancient Judaism. Lectures by a noted Jewish historian who is convinced that regulations about purity were basic to biblical and post-biblical Jewish law. The Meaning of ’bama” in the Old Testament (Cambridge) by P. H. Vaughan is a short but definitive treatment of the cultic “high place.” Biblical archaeological and ancient Near Eastern sources are carefully evaluated with the conclusion that bamoth were of two types. Both were platforms, but (contra W. F. Albright) neither was associated with a cult of the dead.

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A dissertation by Ontario Bible College professor D. A. Leggett is entitled The Levirate and Goel Institutions in the Old Testament (Mack Publishing, Robin Lake Drive, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08034) correlates laws of Deuteronomy with the practice of Ruth and sees both as reflections of the central love command. Another dissertation gives us the first English-language book on The Spirit of God in the Old Testament (Augsburg). Although the study is designedly technical, it can be read with profit by anyone interested in this vital subject. A third dissertation, With Wings as Eagles (Biblical Scholars Press) by F. Holmgren, explores the inner life of “Second Isaiah.” The author concurs with Snaith and Orlinsky that second Isaiah is an intensely nationalistic prophet and paints an attractive picture of that elusive being.

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MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS The Law and the Prophets (Presbyterian and Reformed) edited by J. H. Skilton mixes thirty technical articles with a score of personal tributes to Oswald T. Allis. The venerable divine, veteran of years of teaching at both Princeton and Westminster seminaries, died in his ninety-third year just prior to publication of the Festschrift. Although the quality of the articles is mixed, the long list of evangelical contributors is a testimony to Allis’s influence. A second Festschrift honors Jacob M. Myers on his seventieth birthday. A Light Unto My Path (Temple University) edited by H. N. Bream, R. D. Heim, and C. A. Moore brings together articles from a cross section of notable Old Testament scholars. Most of the articles directly concern biblical studies, unlike the twenty-seven contributions in Approaches to the Study of the Ancient Near East, a volume dedicated to cuneiform scholar I. J. Gelb on his sixty-fifth birthday. Editor G. Buccellati and an international team of scholars have given us a splendid series of articles on various ancient Near Eastern topics.

Essays in Biblical Culture and Bible Translation (Ktav) collects twenty-four stimulating essays by Reformed Jewish scholar Harry M. Orlinsky. He registers his opposition to finding universal salvation in Isaiah or an amphictyony in the period of the Judges and to anything written or said by Arnold Toynbee. None of these and a host of other reflections will bore the reader, and some are sure to infuriate him. Of special interest is Orlinsky’s personal account of his role as go-between in the amazing purchase of some Dead Sea Scrolls in 1954.

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