Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Old Testament Theologies

What are the best Old Testament Theologies around these days?

Walter Brueggemann, Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy

Brevard S. Childs, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context

William J. Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel. A Theological Survey of the Old Testament

William Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology

Paul R. House, Old Testament Theology

Walter Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (vols. 1-2)

John Goldingay, Israel's Gospel

Bruce Waltke, An Old Testament Theology


Have I missed any?

26 comments:

Jim Hamilton said...

You missed the best one!

Stephen Dempster's Dominion and Dynasty in the NSBT,

Jim

minternational said...

Just to note that Goldingay's Israel's Gospel was the first in a 3-part OT theology - the 2nd vomume is called Israel's Faith. Don't know when the 3rd volume iis to be published (maybe it already is?).

Celucien L. Joseph said...

Walter Kaiser's "Toward and Old Testament Theology," and more recently "The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments."

Sean LeRoy said...

ditto on the Kaiser references above.

John Anderson said...

There are many volumes worthy of being added to this list:

Gerhard von Rad's two volumes are seminal.

Birch, Fretheim, Brueggemann, Petersen, A Theological Introduction of the Old TestamentTerry Fretheim, God and World in the Old Testament: A Relational Theology of CreationErhard Gerstenberger, Theologies in the Old TestamentRolf Knierim, The Task of Old Testament Theology: Substance, Method, and CasesLeo Perdue's two volumes are also seminal (The Collapse of History: Reconstructing Old Testament Theology and Reconstructing Old Testament Theology: After the Collapse of History).

Brueggemann has a new volume (2007 or 2008 I think), an introduction, published by Abingdon that is out.

These are just a few.

John Anderson said...

Ok the spacing didn't work out as I had planned in my post above; mea culpa. I trust you can still discern the titles and perhaps add them to your list.

Nick Norelli said...

Robin Routledge has a new volume published by IVP, Old Testament Theology: A Thematic Approach.

Luke said...

My vote is definitely for Goldingay's multi-volume set. It's absolutely gold. I don't really understand Brueggemann (I never have). Kaiser has just always seemed a little too fundamentalistic to me.

Another one you forgot is Eugene Merrill's "Everlasting Dominion." He's very conservative but I appreciate his perspective because he views the OT through a missional lens.

Charles said...

Don't forget Eugene Merrill's Everlasting Dominion published in 2006.

Geoff Smith said...

Robert Smith's Old Testament Theology

John B. Higgins said...

While it's not an OT Theo per se, it deserves mention: Kingdom Prologue, Meredith Kline

David Reimer said...

Hard to leave a thread like this alone. :)

While I value Goldingay's work highly, my own impression of the two volumes currently available are that (a) they are somewhat self-indulgent, and (b) for all their bulk, they contain surprising gaps. The two points are possibly related! :) He makes a welcome conversation partner, all the same.

At the opposite end of the scale (older, much smaller) is Ronald Clements' Old Testament Theology: A Fresh Approach (1978) which I find consistently helpful.

Also worth noting in a thread like this is the nicely assembled reader edited (in its revised edition) by Ben Ollenburger, Old Testament Theology: Flowering and Future (Eisenbrauns, 2004).

Preston Sprinkle said...

I would echo Jim above: Dominion and Dynasty is outstanding for its size, and makes a great seminary level text book. As far as a basic, yet very thoughtful, introductory text aimed at a more undergradutate level, Sandra Richter's The Epic of Eden (IVP 2008) is by far the best I've ever seen. It's scholarly, yet (how do I say it...) normal and down to earth--She writes in a style similiar to N.T. Wright (i.e. she's engaging!). And best of all, she passionately weaves together points of application and devotion without dimming down the topic. (No, she's not paying me to say all this!) In short, it's an outstanding book for anyone who wants to understand the theological and social shape of the OT, but doesn't have a PhD in OT studies. A great undergrad textbook!

Sean LeRoy said...

Elmer Martens is good too...can't remember the title right now.

Bryan L said...

What about "The Canonical Hebrew Bible: A Theology of the Old Testament" by Rolf Rendtorff?

Bryan L

Paul W said...

I was just going to say what Bryan did. Rendtorff is great.

John Anderson said...

Elmer Martens' volume is titled God's Design

John Mark said...

Not sure about the best. My vote for worst: Preuss, at least the most tedious and boring.

Ranger said...

Are we voting? If so, my top three would be Dempster, Waltke and Bruegemann.

Ben Myers said...

Yeah, Rendtorff's Canonical Hebrew Bible is superb — and I imagine it would be useful for students, since it tries to synthesise historical-critical and canonical approaches.

Sean said...

I'm still sold on Goldingay's Israel's Gospel; Brueggemann's tome, and his little An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imgagination. It's superb!

wyclif said...

None of the links to the books work in the post.

JohnGreenview said...

I too have found Dominion and Dynasty by Dempster to be a really helpful book. It informs the mind and warms the heart. I write as a Christian reader with no theological training. It seems to me to be a book for scholar and reading christian.

JohnGreenview said...

Perhaps I should add that I find books like From Eden to the New Jerusalem and From Paradise to the Promised Land by T Desmond Alexander stimulating and edifying.

I read a fair chunk of Goldingay's first volume and while there is much that is helpful I find myself always wary. My main concern is that with what I believe is his hermeneutic of taking the OT text in its own terms he loses the NT perspective. It seems to me a christian reading of the OT must involve seeing it through NT events as our Lord instructed his disciples.

Perhaps here we should mention Goldsworthy who has done much at a popular level to promote a NT reading of the OT.

Can we have a proper christian theology that does not use the NT as its fundamental hermeneutic? I doubt it. any comments.

echindod said...

I personally would vote off House's OT Theo. I think a good undergrad survey book is more comprehensive and contains more theology than House's book. (although I do like his introductory essay on the history of OT Theo as a discipline).

I would mention Sailhamer Introduction to Old Testament Theology. Quirky but helpful as a jumping off point for discussion.

John Anderson said...

I would argue that the truly timeless volumes in OT theology--despite problems with each, to be sure--are the following:

Eichrodt's two volumes

von Rad's two volumes

Childs (his volumes on biblical theology, and Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context, which is seminal largely for its opening methodological chapter).

Brueggemann's massive tome


All the rest, as they say, is commentary.