[Ebook] Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy By Walter Brueggemann – Tactical-player.co.uk
I ve read several OT theologies, but this is by far the most comprehensive While I don t agree with all of the author s conclusions, I found myself gripped by his imaginative re telling of Yahweh s story in the history of Israel This book may be 25 years old, but it reads as fresh as today Clearly a tour de force that must be reckoned with In This Powerful Book, Walter Brueggemann Moves The Discussion Of Old Testament Theology Beyond The Dominant Models Of Walter Eichrodt In The S And Gerhard Von Rad In The SBrueggemann Focuses On The Metaphor And Imagery Of The Courtroom Trial In Order To Regard The Theological Substance Of The Old Testament As A Series Of Claims Asserted For Yahweh, The God Of Israel This Provides A Context That Attends To Pluralism In Every Dimension Of The Interpretive Process And Suggests Links To The Plurality Of Voices Of Our Time Excellent reading and inspirational. Walter Brueggemann s big Old Testament theology, which I read as a seminarian in 2000, has decidedly stood the test of time As I recently re read it, slowly, each chapter reminded me just how much Brueggemann s approach, emphasizing as it does the inherent plurality of the Biblical witness, has given me permission to be postmodern even as THAT s gone out of style and faithful to the Bible, both a confessing Christian and someone who s ready to listen to readings from beyond the walls of the seminary I ve certainly changed over the years, not nearly as ready as I was thirteen years ago to dismiss out of hand the grand complex project which is Platonic philosophy, but when it comes to how I teach and read and meditate on the Scriptures, I m still a Brueggemaniac all this time later. Any serious student of theology must not miss the excellency of this book Brueggemann with his two doctorate degrees is qualified and his writing experience of about 20 other books makes him the man of the hour for Old Testament.He painstakingly starts with Luther and brings the movement of theology up to present in numerous chapters He is not afraid to address the issues most have in weakness or inability not addressed He starts to build upon the foundation that Yahweh is Yahweh in relation and that Israel is the witness of Yahweh Their witness is recorded in Old Testament Scripture.Using verbs, adjectives and nouns we can start to see Yahweh in relation, action and his character He is not afraid to deal with testimony and countertestimony Nor is he afraid to reveal and deal with tensions between issues where most have avoided or compromised Neither does he soft stroke the Psalms of complaint in contrast to the high Psalms of faith and praise Neither is he soft when he mentions Israel s commitment to justice in alternative to the deathly ideology of technological, military consumerism.He beautifully reveals Yahweh s relation with Israel and with the world God s care for the world and the suffering of humanity And revealing to all including Christians that the Law is not the legalistic document portrayed by most as supposed in contrast to Grace Israel with joy received Torah and it brought order to chaos.Although he touches on the Holocaust a few times he never brings a conclusion into his book on the subject He leaves you wondering what he thinks and why he brought up the subject I would like to have had his thoughts and some insights from scripture Just the mention of the Holocaust brings questions and a thirst for understanding.Your understanding of theology, Old Testament theology and of the intricate God of the Bible will be profoundly expounded and expanded A must and a delight Just what I needed, and at a great value Good book Another brilliant book by the servant of the Master. This work by Walter Brueggemann is perhaps his most comprehensive view of the Old Testament to date As the title implies, this is a Christian reading of the Old Testament scriptures for scholars who approach the collection from a objective standpoint prefer to avoid the use of the term Old Testament in favour of the term Hebrew Scriptures However, Brueggemann is sensitive to the contemporary context of the scriptures and places them firmly in their rightful place for analysis.Brueggemann concentrates on Yahweh there are other formulations of God in the text Elohim, for example, or El Shaddai in Job but these don t tend to be dominant, so Brueggemann doesn t treat them so As the subtitle suggests Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy Brueggemann uses an overall framework of a jury trial, with the presentation of evidence, argument, interpretation, and witnesses.The first and final sections of the book are analytical and place this book in proper context of the history of OT research and writing, and where this is likely to continue, particularly with the idea of interpretation in a pluralistic context, which is fitting considering the plurality of voices present in the scriptures.The first witness, of course, is Israel Israel s experience in the scriptures, however, provides it with both a core testimony of God, as well as a counter testimony of God Brueggemann is good about maintaining a tension between poles in his writings, and here he has Israel s testimony pitted against itself, looking for Yahweh in the tension between.Then there are components of unsolicited testimony, those of creation, humanity, the nations Following are the concepts of mediators Torah, King, Prophet, Cult, Sage each of these things mediates the way in which God interacts with the community, and how the community receives and perceives God.God is seen as a verb, a doer, Yahweh is the one who And yet, to have God fully uttered, fully named, a complete grammar must be built.Perhaps this small bit has given you a flavour of the nearly 800 pages of this work Brueggemann looks to provide a way of looking at God, without becoming rigid and inflexible As a companion to this work, I would recommend God in the Fray which is a tribute to Walter Brueggemann published shortly after Theology of the Old Testament , and has scholarly reactions to some of his major points.Perhaps it is a feature of being part of a military consumerist culture, to which might be added, media saturated, but the idea of truth coming forward from the text and only the text seems unsatisfying in some regards A failure of the courtroom method can be easily demonstrated Testimony does not create reality in the ontological sense imagine an archaeologist finding, 5000 years from now, reports of courtroom proceedings with reports that juries returned not guilty verdicts In what sense would this non guilt be a reality While the defendants would be de jure not guilty, in fact they might have been guilty, and the testimony was simply unconvincing The resolution to this problem, the link between testimony and basic, ultimate reality, is not very clear Perhaps it has no place in Old Testament theology, but that requires a fairly narrow definition of the field.Also, is it indeed true as Brueggemann intends that there are no categories which are appropriate for all cultures and times After all, there are certain universal principles in the physical world, and there are certain universal principles in language, such that while each retains a unique flavour, they can all be interpreted albeit imperfectly by other languages Linear B and such illusive language bits notwithstanding Of course, with regard to Old Testament theology, the universal constant will be the text itself.Brueggeman warns against reductionism, saying that conventional systematic theology cannot seem to get a grasp on the polyphony of voices in the Old Testament text He warns against coming to narrow, flattened conclusions, and does not accept the possibility of ontological arguments vis a vis knowing the Yahweh behind the text, stating that, like a courtroom drama, truth is constructed and made real through testimony The key element in Brueggemann s character seems to be justice, and it is a very communitarian approach.Of course, this makes the ultimate knowledge of God a never ending quest The text will always be subject to re reading with cultured eyes and renewed interpretation realising that literal reading is itself an interpretation, and the literal reading of the text today is quite different from the literal reading of the text a thousand years ago, and will be different a thousand years from now.