In this updated edition of the popular textbook Introduction to the Old Testament, Walter Brueggemann and Tod Linafelt introduce the reader to the broad theological scope of the Old Testament, treating some of the most important issues and methods in contemporary biblical interpretation. This clearly written textbook focuses on the literature of the Old Testament as it grew out of religious, political, and ideological contexts over many centuries in Israel’s history. Covering every book in the Old Testament (arranged in canonical order), the authors demonstrate the development of theological concepts in biblical writings from the Torah through postexilic Judaism.
Incorporating the most current scholarship, this new edition also includes concrete tips for doing close readings of the Old Testament text and a chapter on ways to read Scripture and respond in light of pressing contemporary issues, such as economic inequality, racial and gender justice, and environmental degradation. This introduction invites readers to engage in the construction of meaning as they venture into these timeless texts.
“This updated edition offers to a new generation of readers Brueggemann’s brilliant insight into the interplay between normative claims and imaginative counterclaims in the Old Testament. Beautifully written and characterized by exegetical attentiveness, this volume is an excellent resource for theological educators and Church leaders.”
—Carolyn J. Sharp, Professor of Homiletics, Yale Divinity School
“In this revision, the synergy of the voices of Brueggemann and Linafelt continues. With an eye toward the big themes and the subtle nuance in intertextual readings, they lead readers into deeper conversations about the nature of Scripture as both ancient testimony and modern engagement. New chapters on close readings and engaging the current polarized world add richly to the volume. As noted in the subtitle, imagination plays a crucial and constructive role in the way they approach, and the way we should all approach, the interpretation of biblical texts.”
—James Nogalski, Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Director of Graduate Studies, Baylor University
“Most introductions to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible are concerned to give their audiences information. This one is more daring: It attempts to teach its audience how to read. This introduction shows students how to discover and attune themselves to the distinctive ways the Bible thinks. It is hermeneutically focused, critically attuned, and pastorally sensitive.”
—Carol A. Newsom, Charles Howard Candler Professor Emerita of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
“As one who has a foot in the seminary and another in the church, I am often asked to recommend resources for the teaching of the Bible in local congregations. This third edition, by Brueggemann—who is perhaps the single most known Old Testament scholar among pastors and congregations—and Linafelt, is an exceptional resource that I highly recommend, not only for seminarians and college students but also for pastors and congregations. It is elegantly written with tremendous insights and is easily accessible. It continues to be highly imaginative and creative. The addition of two new chapters at the end provides the untrained reader with strategies for close reading as well as relevantly bringing the study of the Old Testament into conversation with the issues of our contemporary world.”
— Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, President and Professor of Hebrew Bible, Claremont School of Theology at Willamette University