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An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination Paperback – November 30, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Brueggemann looks at things from a canonical perspective, ordering the books differently from what most Christians would be used to in their Bibles. Starting with the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, he then proceeds through the prophets and then to the writings. following the canon of the Hebrew bible, and a more likely ordering of original authorship. While all texts have gone through a processes of being handed down, often edited/redacted in the process, their original ideas or events occurred in a particular order.
Brueggemann gives due respect to Brevard Childs and his ideas of canonical criticism while recognising that this can become a limiting tool, and so Brueggemann introduces the idea of imagination as a counter. True to form from his early text 'Theology of the Old Testament' and other texts, Brueggeman looks for the truth that resides in the tension between, in this case, in the tension between the normative and the imaginative becoming of the community.
Brueggemann brings in the wide range of biblical scholars in the course of his study, ignoring very few noted names along the way. This makes his text an ideal book for introductory courses in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament for undergraduates and seminarians. Brueggemann also puts forward his own interesting arguments and interpretations for consideration.Read more ›
In short, Brueggemann is not as concerned with how the `history' of the Old Testament does or does not match up with the historicism of late scholasticism. After all, I think we can all agree that a person writing in the age of antiquity would have a substantially different method and/or intent in his or her written approach than would an eighteenth or nineteenth century historian. For starters, the Jewish writers of antiquity were writing a narrative history, not a history accompanied with narratives. This is an important distinction. In short, their end goal was to tell their story, which they also believed to be God's story. This story inevitably incorporated, and even required, elements of history; yet it was the story itself that always took first priority.
Accordingly, Brueggemann's reading of the `Old Testament' is cohesive and coherent because he understands that it must be read as the narrative story of a historical people, not as a history of a narrative people.
This carried me back to 2002 sessions at Montreat and Columbia upon first hearing his process of interpretation: "The interface beween the canonical and imaginative is exactly the way in which the most responsible and faithful interpretation takes place." I can see & hear his trip from well-neglected notes on the podium up to the chalk-board, as he hastily wrote the Hebrew for his key scripture. In the dramatic Isa 6, after writing the "living creatures," he sailed down the steps, waving wildly his arms all around the wall of the classroom singing "Holy, Holy, Holy!"
He seemed propelled alongside us into the living words of the Prophet. He earned his standing ovation! That was not the only Incident to stress his "Imaginative Remembering.Read more ›
His path is not always what one would expect. While he uses historical criticism, his method involves the focus on what he calls the `end of the traditioning process.' For the author, it is not greatly important how a book came together, but the theology of the book in final form. For him, the process is far from over and should continue now that the canon has been delivered to the `interpretive community of the church'. He makes a strong case that the bible contains more light than a simple `reportage' view can give, and indeed, suddenly becomes a conservative Protestant as he makes his case that more study is needed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely helpful in my efforts to understand the violence in the OT.Published 21 months ago by Neita F. Geilker
It's understandable what the author attempted to do with this book. Yet at times, it seems to contradict physical evidence which is still visible today. Read morePublished on July 1, 2014 by Arod00195
Walter Brueggemann's book is insightful and thought provoking. He gives you a deeper understanding of the Old Testament. Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Well written and logically organized. It reads like a conversation but challenges your thought. I am not a seminarian or a theologian but I enjoyed the text.Published on June 21, 2013 by Sandra Barr
this book is brandnew... wow ... how can you stay in business this way ... thanks much for good servicePublished on March 3, 2013 by Randy Harshbarger
This is a textbook - it isn't light reading. Having said that, it is very well written and informative - covers past scholarship, present scholarship and emerging thought on the... Read morePublished on March 12, 2012 by Maggie's Mom
An Introduction to the Old Testament is an interesting look into how scholars view the Word. Looking at Bruggeman's reflections helps understand how our current scripture became... Read morePublished on April 21, 2011 by Joseph F. Krupa
There's a lot of good information in this book, especially if you are relatively new to Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") studies. But there also lies one of its main flaws. Read morePublished on March 10, 2010 by Gitfiddler Ed