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Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy [With CDROM] [Paperback]

By Walter Brueggemann (Author)
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Item description for Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy [With CDROM] by Walter Brueggemann...

This paperback edition of Walter Brueggemann's monumental work makes his important volume available at a lower price and accompanied by a CD-ROM that enhances its usefulness in numerous ways. Using the Libronix software, with helpful features for the user (searching, bookmarking, highlighting, auto-footnoting, notetaking), the CD-ROM also includes chapter summaries, discussion questions, weblinks to Brueggemann resources (articles, interviews, reviews), and a copy of Brueggemann's interpretive program, Texts under Negotiation.

Publishers Description
This paperback edition of Walter Brueggemann's classic work makes this important volume available at a lower price and accompanied by a CD-ROM that enhances its usefulness in numerous ways. Using the Libronix software, with helpful features for the user (searching, bookmarking, highlighting, auto-footnoting, note taking), the CD-ROM also includes chapter summaries, discussion questions, and web links to Brueggemann resources (articles, interviews, reviews).

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Fortress Press
Pages   777
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.92" Width: 6.08" Height: 1.89"
Weight:   2.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2005
Publisher   Fortress Press
ISBN  0800637658  
ISBN13  9780800637651  

Availability  0 units.

More About Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Walter Brueggemann has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries
  2. Augsburg Old Testament Studies
  3. Connections
  4. Essential Guide
  5. Facets
  6. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary
  7. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching
  8. Library of Biblical Theology
  9. Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation
  10. New Cambridge Bible Commentary
  11. New Interpreter's Bible
  12. Old Testament Theology
  13. Overtures to Biblical Theology
  14. Shalom Resource
  15. Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary
  16. Understanding Biblical Themes
  17. Westminster Bible Companion

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Brueggemann, Walter
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > Old Testament
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Theology Of The Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy?

Magnum Opus  Jun 14, 2006
Walter Brueggeman has written his Magnum Opus in this book. He sets up the scenario of a law court and God is in this sense on trial. The question of the righteousness of God is dealt with (130ff) and answered by all the witnesses. Brueggemann brings out the polyphonic voices of the text as witnesses to the God of Israel concerning who he is (the nouns), what he will do (the verbs), and how he is to be served and much more. As usual with Brueggemann the exodus and exile are primary motifes, but more than that the kingship of YHWH over Israel and the world (He is depicted as creator). The most interesting point that Brueggemann makes for me concerns the nature of evil. Brueggemann sees evil as chaos or the messing up of God's good creation. It is not that evil is something added to creation, but instead subtracted from it. Brueggemann, throughout, brings up modern day world events in order to make application. This is an area in which the Church needs to listen and take note, because Brueggeman is skilled in this area.
He really does not leave any stone unturned and deals with the entire Old Testament. Get this book! It is worth the time and the money.
Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute,Advocacy  Aug 27, 2005
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 more 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!
A valiant post-modern attempt that falls a bit short  Nov 22, 2003
I was a bit disappointed with Walter Brueggemann in this, his magnum opus, I presume. Brueggemann, while he has some great treatment of specific Old Testament texts that many evangelicals would agree with, he falls short in his methodology in this text. It comes across as a re-worked liberal Protestant approach to the Old Testament in post-modern verbage. I am left wondering if Brueggemann thinks the Old Testament is really God's revelatory Word in the most profound sense. It just isn't that clear.

Brueggemann dismisses Brevard Childs' canonical criticism with too much ease as being modernistically foundationalist. Childs' canonical approach is probably the best middle way through the historical-critical/fundamentalist impasse. Brueggemann just lumps Childs in there almost as some brain-dead fundamentalist.

Brueggemann's exegesis of particular texts is what saves the book and gives it some incredible insight that the author is so well-known for. But I think I will wait for the Old Testament trilogy of theology from John Goldingay (out at Fuller Seminary) before I dig much more into Brueggemann's attempt. Goldingay does a much better job grappling with the challenges of post-modernism than does Brueggemann in his more muddled methodology.

Examining the evidence  Sep 1, 2003
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 more 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 more 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).

Their Coming to Take Me Away, Oh My !  Apr 6, 2002
So this is the best in contemporary Old Testament scholarship ? Brueggemans marketing "blurbs" ultimately suffer the same fate that he himself inflicts on the text of the Old Testament;utter evisceration of ontological content - his effort is one of image and not substance.How in the world postmodern scholars can resort to "rhetorical" analysis of anyones text (rendering it empty of any correspondance with ultimate reality)and then with their own text pawn such analysis off on unsuspecting readers as being somehow more "real" is beyond me.
Any insight one might gain from his rehearsal of the history of theological methodologies on the one hand is - by applying his own principles toward his own text - ironically supported by feet that are firmly planted in mid air on the other. Just as he heralds the tentativity and characteristic need for "open ended" and continued conversation with regard to the Theology of the Old Testament, his own effort must not be taken with any additional seriousness or certainty. In other words, if there can be no closure regarding the Old Testaments veracity (ontological reality and historical truthfulness), meaning, or significance, but only an appreciation of an intertextual rhetoric supported by Brueggemanns own rhetorical flourish, as far as I'm concerned the entire project substitutes sheer madness for scholarship.
Even his attempt to regain some contact with reality, by encouraging readers to perhaps enter into and continue the "Testimony, Dispute, and Advocacy" pursuit of the so-called followers of Yahweh, is sabotaged by his conflation of alonestanding "rhetoric" with reality itself.
If you want an Old Testament/Postmodern Theological hallucinative experience under the auspices of scholarship; look no further. However, if you prefer sober reality where truth can still be known Christian orthodoxy can see you coming.
Accordingly, in todays academy you may not prove to be popular, but it will sure be nice knowing that you're not one of the "inmates" that are now running the asylum!

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