chapter  13
12 Pages

The Future of Old Testament Study

The study of the Old Testament is flourishing, and the interests of its practitioners seem to grow ever more diverse. Interest in the historical aspects of the Old Testament has increased in recent years, and embraces the history of Israelite religion as well as political and economic history. Traditional studies such as textual criticism are flourishing, with major work on the ancient versions and the planning and preparation of a fifth edition of Biblia Hebraica, the standard international Hebrew Bible. The strength of Old Testament study in the 1950s and 1960s was precisely that it respected the theological character of the literature, and attempted to respond by expounding the texts in religiously fruitful ways, eschewing mere antiquarianism. The religious ideas could turn out on examination to be utterly diverse, jumbled and incredible. The call for Old Testament study to become more theologically serious is asking for more than a revival of interest in biblical theology.