Brief History of Old Testament Criticism

GignilliatA brief review of Mark Gignilliat’s, Brief History of Old Testament Criticism: From Benedict Spinoza to Brevard Childs

This book is by a scholar who previously taught at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and is now Lay Canon Theologian at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama. Essentially, it is a study of seven major figures in Old Testament studies from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first: Benedict Spinoza, W. M. L. de Wette, Julius Wellhausen, Herman Gunkel, Gerhard von Rad, W. F. Albright, and Brevard Childs. These are used as windows into the major trends in critical studies over the last 400 years. It is a broadly reliable and readable textbook.

It is less brief, but it is worth noting at this point a new English translation of Henning Graf Reventlow’s four volume masterpiece, History of Biblical Interpretation. Each volume contains a number of 10-20 page biographies of major biblical interpreters, looking at their life and works and attempting to locate each one in the broader streams of thought in their age. This is a substantial and impressive work from a single scholar.

These brief reviews first appeared in Churchman 128/2 (2014).

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