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By Walter Brueggemann

During this up to date version of the preferred textbook, Walter Brueggemann and Tod Linafelt introduce the reader to the wide theological scope of the previous testomony, treating the most vital matters and techniques in modern biblical interpretation. This essentially written textbook makes a speciality of the literature of the outdated testomony because it grew out of spiritual, political, and ideological contexts over many centuries in Israel's background. overlaying each booklet within the previous testomony (arranged in canonical order), the authors display the advance of theological recommendations in biblical writings from the Torah via post-exilic Judaism. This creation invitations readers to interact within the development of which means as they enterprise into those undying texts.

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Extra info for An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination

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They witness to the will, purpose, and presence of YHWH, who remains inscrutably hidden in and through the text and yet who discloses YHWH’s own holy self through that same text. “Moses” is the signal of faithful traditioning that attests that these scrolls are a reliable source upon which to ground faith and life. ” It cannot be demonstrated that this event refers to the completed Torah, but it is an adequate working hypothesis and an indication that the community was by then thinking in those terms.

Our judgment is that our reading must attend to both of these tasks and to permit neither to silence or depreciate the other. It is clear to us, moreover, that neither of these perspectives is privileged as more intellectually respectable, so that the demanding part of responsible interpretation is to take seriously both the critical attentiveness to the variety and complexity and the “canonical” impetus toward constancy and coherence. It is an old, traditional assumption of Bible reading, reflected in New Testament attribution, that the Torah is authorized (and therefore “authored”) by Moses (see, for example, Matt 19:7–8; 22:24; Mark 1:44; 7:10; Rom 9:15; 10:5, 19; 1 Cor 9:9; 10:2).

Beyond a lack of physical description in the biblical stories, one notices too that descriptions of personal qualities are largely absent. That is, characterization is rarely explicit, but rather must be teased out of the narrative based on what characters do and say. The presentation of Esau and Jacob in Genesis 25 illustrates this nicely. It is true that we are told that Esau is “a skillful hunter, a man of the field” (v. 27), but the essential characterization of Esau as impulsive and unreflective, indeed almost animal-like, is conveyed by action and dialogue.

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