We must applaud volumes that encourage us to see the Old Testament in all its splendor. Too many push it back to secondary status. Enter Old Testament scholar John Goldingay who makes his attempt to shake up our thinking on the subject. His aim is ” letting the Old Testament speak for itself.”
There are pluses and minuses in this volume for sure. The author writes well, knows the scholarly issues out there, and can be quite thought provoking. His chapter on “The Costly Loss Of First Testament Spirituality”, for example, covered several trains on thought that I had never thought of, particularly on the Psalms and worship.
There were also chapters, like chapter four on Grand and a Middle Narratives, that I simply could not get on with. Perhaps that says more about me as a reviewer than him as a writer–I am not sure.
I imagine some will love this book and rate it highly, but for me it was marred by his suppositions that led him far afield. He has so little regard for the historicity of the Bible, thinks books like Jonah and Ruth must be fictional, and his claims of their abiding value are undermined by his view of dating. His ideas of memory may be a trendy, new scholarly view, but it seems bizarre to me.
His last chapter fails completely in how it deals with Christology in the Old Testament, and I believe a majority of Christianity would think so. I will be curious to read future reviews. I will be curious, too, with his being such an influential scholar what will come of his discussion. He did at least succeed in making you feel he loved the Old Testament. You will have to check this one out and decide for yourself.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.