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Old Testament Theology: Israel's Faith (Vol. 2) Hardcover – November 26, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


"Goldingay witnesses powerfully and faithfully to the 'not us' God who continues to vex and save, threaten and restore. It is no wonder we will not finish the interpretive task. Goldingay has moved us decisively along the way in a task that cannot be completed." (Walter Brueggemann, Scottish Journal of Theology)

"Reading John Goldingay on the Old Testament is like listening to a lover talk about his beloved. Filled with thoughtful interpretation and a sense of deep admiration for the text." (Stephen J. Lennox, Books & Culture, July 2009)

"The scholarly ability of the author is incontestable, as is his insight into the importance of the message for the modern-day reader. The book will prove to be an invaluable resource for student and minister alike." (Dianne Bergant, C.S.A., The Bible Today, August 2008)

"I have been enjoying these volumes more than any other books I have read in the last decade. In the future, if I recommend any books relating at all to the Bible or theology, I will recommend these first." (Chris Tilling on Chrisendom, April 14, 2008)

". . . Quite enjoyable to read . . . thorough, insightful, and incisive commentary . . ." (Robert Gnuse for The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Fall 2007)

"Its fresh presentations of theological motifs, as well as its engagement with contemporary contexts, enriches the treasury of insights this series makes available to preachers and communicators of the Old Testament." (SirReadaLot.org, February 7, 2007)

"In this book John Goldingay follows up his volume on Israel's gospel with an equally lively and engaging treatment of Israel's faith. Here he tackles the Old Testament's view of God, Israel, 'the Nightmare,' Humanity, the Nations, to name a few. Goldingay models theological exposition at its best: rigorous wrestling with biblical texts; illuminating dialogue with other disciplines, including systematic theology; transparent personal reflection; and penetrating insights. Its intellectual rigor offers grist for the academic mill, its theological depth rich food for the weekly pulpit. Frequent references to popular culture and comments on contemporary life further measurably enhance this volume. I highly recommend it for academics, clergy and students." (Robert L. Hubbard Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Biblical Literature, North Park Theological Seminary)

"In Israel's Faith, Goldingay offers us the second in a series that will most likely constitute his magnum opus. While the first volume (Israel's Gospel) masterfully traced the theological story of Israel, this volume provides a discerning synthesis of key theological streams in the Old Testament. Such a task is possible only for a select few in any generation, and with this volume Goldingay confirms his place among that group.

The strength of the volume is that it steers clear of the old etymological and lexical fixation of earlier Old Testament theology and focuses instead on key themes as well as images which express the theology of the Old Testament. Goldingay is able to write First Testament theology on its own terms and thus enable the Old Testament to operate as Christian Scripture, rather than as background to the New Testament and Christian theology. At the same time the volume showcases the value of conversation with the Christian systematic theological tradition without smothering the witness of the Old Testament. Those interested in the fruit of a lifetime of reflection on the Old Testament will find a place for this volume in their library." (Mark J. Boda, Ph.D. (Cantab.), Professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College)

"John Goldingay has set himself, and now two-thirds completed, a monumental task. The shape and size of the emerging sculpture is now clear. The finished work will certainly be immense in terms of the number of words. But it is also emerging as a hugely significant contribution to contemporary Old Testament scholarship, which will be a great help to theological teachers at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This volume, in structure as well as content, not only maps out for us the faith of the First Testament with great clarity and in a lively readable style, but also introduces the reader to a vast range of secondary literature. Difficult questions are embraced rather than avoided, but at the same time Goldingay manages to convey a love for the text and for the God revealed in the text--something not always achieved by biblical scholars." (Mary J. Evans, vice principal, London School of Theology)

"This second volume of John Goldingay's planned trilogy combines world-class scholarship with enjoyable reading. He takes his readers on a journey of discovery, often challenging common assumptions about Old Testament theology as he examines what the text actually says about God and the world, Israel and the nations, and human existence. I expect the book to become a valuable resource for a wide range of people." (Dr. David L. Baker, Tyndale House, Cambridge)

"John Goldingay's second volume of his comprehensive three-volume Old Testament Theology focuses on the major theological themes of God, Israel, the nightmare, the vision, the world, the nations and humanity. Following his masterful narrative theology of volume one (Old Testament Theology: Israel's Gospel) that traces Israel's 'gospel' by focusing on the divine actions of creation and redemption, this second volume examines the faith of the Prophets, Psalms and Wisdom Literature. The move is from narrative theology to systematic themes. Goldingay possesses the rare talent of combining scholarly acumen with literary artistry and an engaging style. By means of theological astuteness, literary clarity, well-honed biblical skills, keen insights and an attendant hermeneutical interest, Goldingay produces a splendid volume for scholar and pastor alike. These two volumes belong in every scholar's and pastor's library." (Dr. Leo G. Perdue, professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School)

"Goldingay's reputation as a master of Old Testament theology will be further enhanced by his treatment of the prophets and sages in this volume. His study is deeply rooted in a profound reading of specific texts in the light of an extensive understanding of their Old Testament context. Not just for scholars, all clergy will benefit greatly from reading this magnificent book." (Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College)

"The fruit of a lifetime of teaching and reflection, exhaustive in scope and mature in articulation, John Goldingay has assembled a vast reflective account of what the Old Testament says about God, Israel, humanity and creaturely existence. Goldingay especially enjoys the challenges of the Old Testament for present faith and life, and he rises to them. Comprehensive and engaging." (Christopher Seitz, professor of Old Testament and theological studies, University of St. Andrews)

"Grounded solidly in the study of specific texts, John Goldingay demonstrates that the Old Testament is no second-class citizen in the biblical theological conversation. His command of the text and related literature, including historical and systematic theology, is evident throughout. A special dimension of the book is a deft and straightforward analysis combined with a refreshing personal touch in working with theological issues. This approach enhances his relational way of working with Old Testament themes, especially material about God and humankind. This second volume of Goldingay's immense theological project will open up and enhance many fruitful theological conversations in the years to come." (Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota)

From the Publisher

Features & Benefits *The climax of a foremost interpreter of the Old Testament that is sure to be consulted and discussed for years to come *Gives full treatment of the major themes of Old Testament faith *Numerous insights born of mature scholarship *An abundance of fresh discussions of theological motifs *A goldmine for preachers and communicators of the Old Testament

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 891 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (November 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830825622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830825622
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,306,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. Pope on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Once again John Goldingay has written a surprisingly readable -- and often humorous -- survey of the First (as he prefers to call it, rather than "Old") Testament that can be enjoyed and appreciated not only by scholars but by us non-scholars as well. The first volume, "Israel's God", as he says, tells the story of God's work in history narratively; this volume, "Israel's Faith" focuses on God's relationship with Israel (and the nations) from a "topical standpoint": the chapter titles include "God", "Israel", "The Nightmare" (Sin and its effects); "The Vision" (Hope and Renewal); "Humanity"; "The World"; and "The Nations". The third volume, coming in November, 2009, "Israel's Life" will focus on implications and applications: how we live in light of what God has done (Volume I) and who God is (Volume II). It is not easy to read more than perhaps 25-30 pages a day of this book, but the effort is well worth it: my knowledge and love of the "First" Testament has been significantly deepened by reading these books.
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Format: Hardcover
Now that the third and final volume of John Goldingay's tremendous work is now available, one can properly assess just what he has left us with. The short answer is this: it is simply a magisterial effort. It is a first class work which will be irreplaceable for many years to come.

It is simply amazing for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its massive length. The three volumes comprise over 2,500 pages (2743 pages to be exact). Bear in mind that in the decade he took to pen this, he also produced a number of other important works, including his equally impressive 3-volume commentary on the Psalms, which totals over 2200 pages! Talk about prolific.

This OT theology is simply superb. Goldingay is just utterly steeped in the Old Testament, and has done a superlative job of elucidating its themes, its theology, its vision, its grandeur, and its contents. Almost every aspect of OT studies is entered into here, and he is always up to the task.

The first volume focuses on "Israel's Gospel". It examines the OT narratives from creation to the first coming of Christ. The second volume deals with "Israel's Faith". This concentrates on the Prophets, the Wisdom writings, and the Psalms. Volume three centres on "Israel's Life". It examines the ethical, spiritual and worshipping life of Israel.

Goldingay is of course a Christian but he argues that we must consider the OT on its own terms. He rightly notes that "the Old Testament's insights must be seen in light of those of the New, but only as long as we immediately add that it is just as essential to see the New Testament's insights in light of those of the Old.
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If you are looking for serious preminent scholarship on the Old Testament and its theology then this is a winner. He writes as someone with a commitment to a high view of Scripture and interacts with scholarship at all levels, including Jewish and secular, to position a compelling, comprehension and complete understanding of the theology of the First Testament. It is very readable. If there is a weakness, it is its overall length (3 volumes ultimately)and one can get a little lost along the way. Of course, it is also equally argued that any attempt at a definitive theology of the OT must necessarily be exhuastive in nature.
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Format: Hardcover
I would like to thank InterVarsity Press Academic for graciously providing these review copies.

John Goldingay is the David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. His other other works include Theological Diversity and the Authority of the Old Testament, God's Prophet, God's Servant: A Study in Jeremiah 40-55, a three volume commentary on the Psalms (V. 1, V. 2, V. 3) in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, a commentary on the Minor Prophets in the New International Bible Commentary series, a two volume lay level commentary on Genesis (V. 2), a commentary on Daniel in the WBC series, and the other volume in the Old Testament Theology series Vol. 3: Israel's Life.

This is the first of three volumes that will certainly be remembered as Goldingay's magnum opus. This first installment, Israel's Gospel traces the story of Israel from Genesis to the Return from Exile to examine the history and its narrative interpretation by the scribes of Israel. We see not only in the title of this work, but also in Goldingay's explicit discussion and the final chapter concerning the coming of Jesus that he is interested in writing a Christian Old Testament theology. This does not mean a theology where the text of the Old Testament is read to affirm one's theological or exegetical convictions about the New Testament, but one that does not pretend to be a objective reader and interpreter. He also seeks to construct the proper understanding of the Old Testament as the lens through which Jesus and the rest of the New Testament is read.
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