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The Old Testament : A Brief Introduction - Christoph Levin

The Old Testament

A Brief Introduction

By: Christoph Levin, Margaret Kohl (Translator)

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No other book has influenced the religion and culture of the Western world like the Bible and its largest component, the Old Testament, which is shared by Jews and Christians alike. This groundbreaking work by noted biblical scholar Christoph Levin is the most current and concise introduction to the Old Testament available today.

The book fully explains the development of the Old Testament canon, as well as the editorial history underlying its various parts, including the five books of Moses, the prophetic books, and the Psalms. Examining the Old Testament in its historical context, it also sheds new light on many of the shorter books, including Jonah, Job, Ruth, the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Daniel.

Levin surveys fundamental changes that have taken place in Old Testament scholarship, noting that the accepted view of this part of the Bible has been called into question both by literary scholars and by archaeologists. He points out that many of the Old Testament writings are thought to have originated later than previously believed, and argues that our knowledge about the exodus from Egypt, the Israelite conquest of Palestine, and the opposition between belief in Yahweh and Canaanite religion can no longer be seen as securely established.

While the book treats the Old Testament as part of the cultural and religious history of the Ancient Near East, it also reminds readers that it emerged not as a history of ancient Israel but as the Holy Scripture of Judaism. Clear and engaging, it will prove a compelling read for anyone interested in the history of religion and the history of ancient Israel.

Industry Reviews

"This crisp, concise, and lucid introduction to the Old Testament reveals the shape and development of its canon... Levin does not work from the perspective of faith but of modern critical biblical studies drawing on recent developments."--Library Journal "This is a fine introduction to the study of the Old Testament... Levin provides a framework for reinterpreting the biblical stories as theological reflections of an emerging Jewish nation and its self-identification as God's covenant people."--Publishers Weekly

List of Abbreviationsp. xi
Why Read the Old Testament?p. 1
"Not a dot, nor a tittle shall pass" The Text of the Old Testamentp. 5
The Hebrew Textp. 5
The Greek Textp. 8
Other Translationsp. 13
Qumranp. 14
A Book as Library The Old Testament Canonp. 16
The Hebrew Biblep. 17
The Septuagintp. 19
Deutero-Canonical Writingsp. 20
The Old Testament as Holy Scripture Passed down by Postexilic Judaismp. 22
The Transmitting Groupsp. 22
The Concern That Begot the Literaturep. 23
The Nature of the Interpretative Processp. 25
The Literary Analysisp. 29
The Remnants of Ancient Israelite Literaturep. 31
Wisdom Booksp. 33
Annals and Historiographyp. 38
Law Booksp. 40
Cultic Lyricsp. 43
Priests and Prophetsp. 50
The Great Redactions of the Sixth Century BCEp. 61
The Yahwist's Historyp. 61
The Deuteronomistic Historyp. 70
The Beginnings of Old Testament Theology The Book of Jeremiahp. 77
The Theological Significance of the Lawp. 86
The Decaloguep. 87
Deuteronomyp. 91
The Struggle for Precedence between the Theologians from the Exile and the Jerusalem Temple School The Book of Ezekielp. 97
The Temple as the Center of the Jewish Diaspora The Priestly Sourcep. 101
Fixing the Torah The Pentateuch Redactionp. 110
The Modification of Kingship Theology Second Isaiahp. 115
Prophetic Eschatology The Book of Isaiahp. 123
The Conflict with the Proto-Samaritan Commuunity The Book of Hoseap. 129
Judaism on the Threshold of the Hellenistic Age The Chronicler's Historyp. 134
Sects and Groups within Hellenistic Judaismp. 139
The Psalterp. 140
The Book of Proverbsp. 143
Didactic Storiesp. 147
Jonahp. 147
Jobp. 150
Ruthp. 154
On the Fringe of the Canonp. 157
The Song of Solomon (Song of Songs)p. 157
Ecclesiastes, or The Preacherp. 159
Estherp. 161
The Maccabean Period and the Rise of Apocalyptic The Book of Danielp. 165
The Close of the Canonp. 169
The End of the Growth of the Textp. 169
The Scope of the Collectionp. 170
Criteria for Canonicityp. 172
The Final Establishment of the Canonp. 173
The Old Testament: An Open Bookp. 174
The Books of the Old Testamentp. 177
The Hebrew Biblep. 179
The Septuagintp. 181
Chronological Outlinep. 183
Further Readingp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691113944
ISBN-10: 0691113947
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 3rd April 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.37

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