The Shift in the Bible’s Assessment of Solomon

Over a year ago, I began to ponder the shift that takes place in the Bible's assessment of Solomon. In some passages, he's praised for his consummate wisdom and opulence. In others he's parodied for his womanizing and idolatry. Pretty soon, one begins to wonder whether or not a given description of Solomon is really… Continue reading The Shift in the Bible’s Assessment of Solomon

Walter Brueggemann on the Surrounding Nations

I came across a really interesting section (pgs. 502-18) in Brueggemann's Theology of the Old Testament. It's subtitled: "Yahweh and the Superpowers." In this, Brueggemann works through the OT's imaginative testimony concerning the superpowers with which Israel concerned itself throughout its history, namely Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Persia. He notes that in one way or… Continue reading Walter Brueggemann on the Surrounding Nations

Jon Levenson on the Historical Prologue of the Treaty

Jewish OT scholar Jon Levenson again shines as he discusses the suzerainty treaty/covenant in the ancient Near East/OT.  Here he is speaking specifically of the historical prologue.  This is worth reading a few times! "Israel began to infer and to affirm her identity by telling a story.  To be sure, the story has implications that can be… Continue reading Jon Levenson on the Historical Prologue of the Treaty

Brueggemann: The Good, Bad, the Ugly

Here's one reason why I love Brueggemann: he totally demolishes OT historical criticism.  He says that historical criticism is a child of the Enlightenment with objective, scientific, and positivistic epistemological assumptions.  Historical critics attempt to explain everything away - including the text itself, Brueggemann laments. "Such an enterprise...is...incongruent with the text itself.  The text is saturated with the… Continue reading Brueggemann: The Good, Bad, the Ugly

Brueggemann on Using Yahweh

Though one might not always agree with Walter Brueggemann, he is well worth the read.  Check out this section from Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), 184-5.  It has to do with "using" God for our ends/purposes. "...The possibility of a viable alternative to Egyptian slavery requires a Holy God… Continue reading Brueggemann on Using Yahweh