Introduction to the Literature of the...

Long the standard English work on the subject, now is prepared to work interactively with Hebrew-English Tanakh: the Jewish Bible.

PREFACE IX imply no change in respect to the Divine attributes revealed in the Old Testament; no change in the lessons of human duty to be derived from it; no change as to the general position ( apart from the interpretation of particular passages) that the Old Testament points forward prophetically to Christ.* That both the religion of Israel itself, and the record of its history embod-ied in the Old Testament, are the work of men whose hearts have been touched, and minds illumined, in different degrees,† by the Spirit of God, is manifest:‡ but the recognition of this truth does not decide the question of the author by whom, or the date at which, particular parts of the Old Testament were com-mitted to writing; nor does it determine the precise literary char-acter of a given narrative or book. No part of the Bible, nor even the Bible as a whole, is a logically articulated system of theology: the Bible is a “ library,” showing how men variously gifted by the Spirit of God cast the truth which they received into many different literary forms, as genius permitted or occa-sion demanded,— into poetry of various kinds, sometimes na-tional, sometimes individual, sometimes even developing a truth in a form approaching that of the drama; into prophetical [ xix] discourses, suggested mostly by some incident of the national life; into proverbs, prompted by the observation of life and man-ners; into laws, prescribing rules for the civil and religious gov-ernment of the nation; into narratives, sometimes relating to a distant or a nearer past, sometimes autobiographical; and ( to include the New Testament) into letters, designed, in the first instance, to meet the needs of particular churches or individu-als. It is probable that every form of literary composition known * Comp. Prof. Sanday’s words in The Oracles of God ( 1891), p. 7— a volume which, with its counsels of wisdom and sobriety, I would gladly, if I might, adopt as the Preface to my own. See also the admirable work of Prof. A. F. Kirkpatrick, The Divine Library of the Old Testament. † I say, in different degrees; for no one would attribute to the authors of some of the Proverbs, or of the Books of Esther or Ecclesiastes,  the same degree of spiritual perception displayed e. g. in Isa. 40–  66, or in the Psalms. ‡ So, for instance, Riehm, himself a critic, speaking  of the Pentateuch as a record of revelation, remarks on the “ immediate impression” of this character which it makes, and continues: “ Every one who so reads the Pentateuch as to allow its contents to work upon his spirit, must receive the impression that a consciousness of God such as is here expressed can-not be derived from flesh and blood” ( Einleitung, § 28, “ Der Pentateuch als Offenbarungsurkunde”).   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x

Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament


About Book Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PagePrefaceContentsAddition and correctionsAbbreviationsIntroductionI. THE HEXATEUCH.§ 1. Genesis.§ 2. Exodus.§ 3. Leviticus.§ 4. Numbers.§ 5. Deuteronomy.§ 6. Joshua.§ 7.The Prophetical Narrative of the Hexateuch.The Priestly Narrative of the Hexateuch.Synopsis of the Priests' Code.II. JUDGES, SAMUEL, AND KINGS.§ 1. The Book of Judges.§ 2.1–2 Samuel.§ 3.1–2 Kings.III. ISAIAH.IV. JEREMIAH.V. EZEKIEL.VI. THE MINOR PROPHETS.§ 1. Hosea.§ 2. Joel.§ 3. Amos.§ 4. Obadiah.§ 5. Jonah.§ 6. Micah.§ 7. Nahum.§ 8. Habakkuk.§ 9. Zephaniah.§10. Haggai.§11. Zechariah.§12. Malachi.VII. THE PSALMS.VIII.THE BOOK OF PROVERBS.IX. THE BOOK OF JOB.X. THE FIVE MEGILLOTH.§ 1. The Song of Songs.§ 2.Ruth.§ 3.The Lamentations.§ 4.Ecclesiastes.§ 5.Esther.XI. DANIEL.XII. CHRONICLES, EZRA, AND NEHEMIAH.§ 1. Chronicles.§ 2.Ezra and Nehemiah.Index I.Index II.Index III.
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