Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 4.1 (2015)
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“Assigning the Book of Lamentations a Place in the Canon” by GREG GOSWELL
ABSTRACT: Lamentations is one of a number of books that is found in more than one position in the different canons of Scripture. These canons are a product of different reading communities, each with their own interpretation of the biblical books. The present study is based on the premise that where a biblical book is placed relative to other books reflects an evaluation of the book by ancient readers, with the ordering of books viewed as a paratextual phenomenon. With regard to Lamentations, two different positions (each with its own rationale) are found in the Hebrew and Greek canons. The alternate placements of the book of Lamentations reveal that the compilers of these canons viewed its theological and historical meanings in different ways. These two different contexts are intended to shape the reader’s perception of what the book is about. Consciously or unconsciously, the con-temporary reader is influenced by the positioning of a biblical book. Thus, canonical placement is not value-neutral and needs to be critically evaluated.
KEYWORDS: Lamentations, paratext, canon, Jeremiah, reception history
“Will the Real Job Please Stand Up? Politico-Pastoral Exegesis of Job 38 in the Wake of Nicea” by CHARLES MEEKS
ABSTRACT: Ancient Christian commentaries on the Book of Job, and specifically reflection on Job’s direct theophanic interaction with God in Job 38, offer important insights into the contexts of their writers and the writers’ congregations. This is especially clear in the case of two roughly contemporary “commentaries” produced by John Chrysostom and Julian the Arian. These are two of the earliest extant works on Job in the Christian East in the wake of the Nicene and non-Nicene theological and political disputes occurring at the turn of the fourth century. For these two exegetes, Job becomes a moldable figure identified with the key tenets of their theological systems, experiencing direct revelation as a result of his exemplification of the exegetes’ favored spiritual charisms and political biases due to his ambiguous place in the scheme of salvation-history. Despite each theologian sharing similar methodology, their exegesis produces two vastly different depictions for their readers of what is involved in leading a godly life in general, and how one should attempt to emulate Job himself to become closer to God.
KEYWORDS: Job 38, patristic exegesis, theophany, eunoia, Chrysostom, Julian
“The Theological and Exegetical Significance of Leviticus as Intertext in Daniel 9” by G. GEOFFREY HARPER
ABSTRACT: Daniel 9 is renowned for the textual and theological problems it raises for interpreters, and for the diverse readings it generates. Yet Dan 9 also presents a fascinating tapestry of inner-biblical quotations and allusions. Within this matrix, however, the voice of Leviticus has not been fully appreciated. Nonetheless, Levitical terminology and thought forms pervade the chapter and perform a significant function. The combined force of these parallels suggests the raison d’être for Daniel’s prayer, elucidates the mediated response and suggests a theological coherence to the chapter as a whole. Thus, this article argues that intertextual sensitivity to the array of Leviticus connections made can constrain exegesis of Dan 9, while at the same time generating new insights into its theological perspective.
KEYWORDS: Daniel 9, Leviticus, Intertextuality, Day of Atonement, Jubilee
“‘I was King over Israel in Jerusalem’: Inerrancy and Authorial Ambiguity in Ecclesiastes” by RUSSELL L. MEEK
ABSTRACT: Solomon has been traditionally regarded as the author of Ecclesiastes; however, a review of the evidence for the book’s authorship is inconclusive. Because the authorship of Ecclesiastes cannot be proved definitively and the book itself makes no explicit claims of authorship, it is crucial to disentangle the conversation over the book’s authorship from the issue of inerrancy. In our defense of God’s inerrant and infallible word, evangelical scholars must be careful not to argue more than the text itself will allow. There are compelling arguments for and against Solomonic authorship of Ecclesiastes, but ultimately the ambiguity of the biblical evidence cautions against dogmatism on this point. Therefore, the debate over Solomonic authorship should not be couched in terms of one’s view of inerrancy.
KEYWORDS: Qohelet, Ecclesiastes, inerrancy, authorship, Solomon
The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity edited by Felix Albrecht and Reinhard Feldmeier (Reviewed by L.-S. Tiemeyer)
Text, Time, and Temple: Literary, Historical and Ritual Studies in Leviticus edited by Francis Landy, Leigh M. Trevaskis, and Bryan D. Bibb (Reviewed by L. M. Morales)
From the Depths of Despair to the Promise of Presence: A Rhetorical Reading of the Book of Joel by Joel Barker (Reviewed by B. A. Jones)
Focusing Biblical Studies: The Crucial Nature of the Persian and Hellenistic Periods. Essays in Honor of Douglas A. Knight edited by Jon L. Berquist and Alice Hunt (Reviewed by R. M. Fox)
The Days of Creation: A History of Christian Interpretation of Genesis 1:1-2:3 by Andrew J. Brown (Reviewed by A. Knapp)
Exploring the Religion of Ancient Israel: Prophet, Priest, Sage and People by Aaron Chalmers (Reviewed by B. S. Davis)
The Raging Torrent: Historical Inscriptions from Assyria and Babylonia Relating to Ancient Israel translated and annotated by Mordechai Cogan (Reviewed by G. E. Schnittjer)
Bound for Exile: Israelites and Judeans Under Imperial Yoke, Documents from Assyria and Babylonia translated and annotated by Mordechai Cogan (Reviewed by G. E. Schnittjer)
Hidden Riches: A Source Book for the Comparative Study of the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East by Christopher B. Hayes (Reviewed by D. B. Schreiner)
Isaiah 56–66 by R. Reed Lessing (Reviewed by L.-S. Tiemeyer)
The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul edited by Andrew J. Schmutzer and David M. Howard Jr. (Reviewed by G. G. Harper)
A Prophet Like Moses: Prophecy, Law, and Israelite Religion by Jeffrey Stackert (Reviewed by R. Purcell)
Constructing and Deconstructing Power in Psalms 107–150 by W. Dennis Tucker (Reviewed by P. C. W. Ho)
The Psalms as Christian Lament: A Historical Commentary by Bruce K. Waltke, James M. Houston, and Erika Moore (Reviewed by A. C. Witt)
Yahweh’s Council: Its Structure and Membership by EllenWhite (Reviewed by M. S. Heiser)