By Walter Brueggemann

During this up-to-date variation of the preferred textbook, Walter Brueggemann and Tod Linafelt introduce the reader to the large theological scope of the previous testomony, treating probably the most very important matters and strategies in modern biblical interpretation. This essentially written textbook makes a speciality of the literature of the previous testomony because it grew out of spiritual, political, and ideological contexts over many centuries in Israel's historical past. masking each e-book within the outdated testomony (arranged in canonical order), the authors exhibit the advance of theological thoughts in biblical writings from the Torah via post-exilic Judaism. This creation invitations readers to interact within the building of which means as they enterprise into those undying texts.

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For our purposes it does not matter greatly if the exile is “historical” as given us in the Bible (as we are inclined to think), or if it is an ideological self-characterization. Either way, displaced people needed a place from which to validate a theologically informed, peculiar sense of identity and practice of life. The traditioning process that produced the Torah thus strikes us as a remarkable match for displacement, so that we may understand “the Torah of Moses” as a script for displaced community.

Gottwald understands the interpretive intentionality of the canon of the Torah to produce a daring community of revolutionary imagination and action. Gottwald resists Introduction to the Torah 41 any theological absolutizing that is disconnected from life in the real world of economic-political contestation. There is room, in our judgment, for both of these perspectives and, no doubt, in the church practice of biblical interpretation some will incline variously toward Childs’s or Gottwald’s presentation.

What do Adam and Eve look like? We do not know. Abraham? Sarah? Moses? We do not know. As Auerbach puts it in his comments on Genesis 22, where God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, it is unthinkable that the servants, the landscape, the implements of sacrifice should be described or praised, as one might expect in Homer: “they are serving-men, ass, wood, and knife, and nothing else, without an epithet” (Auerbach 1953, 9). Occasionally a certain quality is ascribed to some person or object: we are told that Eve perceives that the tree of knowledge is “a delight to the eyes” (Gen 3:6), and likewise we are told that Joseph is “handsome and good-looking” (Gen 39:6).

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