Old Testament Theology | Walter Brueggemann

This book is a godsend for those of us who don’t live close to a theological library. Patrick Miller has collected 15 different articles Brueggemann has written for various theological journals between 1978 and 1990 and organized them loosely into two categories.

The first articles discuss theological method. Brueggemann interacts with the major figures in Old Testament studies from Von Rad to Terrien to Childs while pushing their insights to new heights. He spends a lot of time working out the implications of Childs’ canonical criticism. It’s next to impossible to summarize a collection of essays, but Bruggemann’s main thought is this: there’s no one thing at the core of the Old Testament: there a dialectic. You can call it “Structure Legitimization” meets “Embrace of Pain” or “Hurt” meets “Hope”. This is what gives Old Testament faith its vibrancy and drive.

The second category of articles are examples of his method worked out exegetically. He tackles Genesis, Samuel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah all in his distinctive voice.

Whether you agree with everything he has to say or not (and what thinking person ever agrees with everything someone else has to say?), Bruggemann has been a steadfast voice of Christ-centred Old Testament scholarship for decades. This set of essays was invigorating to read.

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