The Face of Old Testament Studies

A Survey of Contemporary Approaches

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"A splendid book that will be an important reference work in the field and useful both to beginners and to seasoned students. The editors have assembled an impressive series of authors."--Walter A. Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

The developments in Old Testament studies during the past twenty-five years have created a mountain of scholarly data that challenges even the best-read researcher. From textual criticism to literary approaches, from historiography to social science, each discipline possesses unique patterns of development, scholarly personalities, and methodologies. The Face of Old Testament Studies tackles the challenge of organizing this wealth of data through a collection of essays on sixteen major areas of contemporary Old Testament research.

Each contributor traces recent developments in his field of expertise, delineating new directions and crucial methodologies that have emerged in the mainstream academy. One distinctive of this compilation is that it also pays attention to conservative scholars who have made contributions of significance that have been recognized beyond their own camp.

This reference work affords professors and students an overview of the salient issues and current approaches to Old Testament research. It is suitable as a textbook for Old Testament Introduction, Hebrew Exegesis, and Old Testament Theology courses, and will also be helpful for non-specialists who desire to keep up with developments in Old Testament studies.


"The Face of Old Testament Studies is probably the best attempt to describe the present state of Old Testament scholarship. The authors are all recognized scholars who have contributed significantly to Old Testament studies. They examine an amazing amount of literature and so give the reader access to most of the important essays and books in the last decades. While all of the essays are competent reviews of the issues and the debates, some of the essays are themselves helpful contributions to further thinking about the issues under discussion. It will be most useful for anyone teaching Old Testament."--Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary

"The editors have produced a splendid book that will be an important reference work in the field and useful both to beginners and to seasoned students. The editors have assembled an impressive series of authors, all of whom are competent, some of whom are leaders in their fields. The book is immensely well documented by well-read authors! Judgments made on scholarly work are consistently judicious and fair. The reader can count on an informed, well-balanced entry into the excitement of current study."--Walter A. Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"The editors are to be commended for both the scope and thoroughness of the essays. The contributors to this volume represent the best of evangelical scholarship, interacting seriously with the most recent research on a wide range of subjects but maintaining a high view of the Old Testament as a source for understanding the history, culture, and faith of ancient Israel."--Daniel I. Block, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"In a world where knowledge of every subject is growing more quickly than at any other time in history, this volume of essays provides an exceptionally helpful way of keeping abreast of current Old Testament scholarship. Contemporary approaches to a wide range of issues are not only clearly explained but also carefully critiqued, offering a distinctively evangelical assessment of Old Testament studies at the end of the twentieth century. For those who wish to familiarize themselves with the current state of affairs, this collection of essays, written by recognized experts in their own fields, is indispensable."--T. Desmond Alexander, Union Theological College

"This collection of essays on the state of Old Testament studies by prominent Old Testament scholars is a welcome addition to the library of both scholars and students of the Old Testament. The essays review the literature and present the challenge of thinking through a number of issues that have been raised in the last twenty years. A magnificent contribution to the state of Old Testament scholarship."--Willem A. VanGemeren, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The Authors

  1. David W. Baker

    David W. Baker

    David W. Baker (Ph.D., University of London) is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of numerous projects, including coeditor of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series.

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  2. Bill T. Arnold

    Bill T. Arnold

    Bill T. Arnold (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Ancient Israel's History, Who...

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"Baker and Arnold have done Old Testament studies an essential service by providing one of the most important collections of essays to appear on the discipline. Although primarily edited and written by evangelicals this work encompasses the whole field of Old Testament studies and will be useful to non-evangelicals as well."--Richard S. Hess, Denver Journal

"This reviewer is employing Baker and Arnold's volume as a required textbook in OT Introduction on the M.Div. level. It is a valuable resource for professor and student alike."--William D. Barrick The Master's Seminary Journal

"These essays will provide teachers of the Old Testament with appropriate supplemental readings for their core courses and pastors with an opportunity to spend brief but quality study time in the areas of their interest."--Arie C. Leder, Calvin Theological Seminary

"Every library catering for students at diploma level and upward should regard this book as an essential resource; even the professors will want to check their references here."--Richard Coggins, Theological Book Review

"A sharper understanding of this integrative approach is exactly what the reader of The Face of the Old Testament Studies will come away with. Therefore, anyone who seeks an excellent, up-to-date overview of the current state of Old Testament scholarship, with many conservative views, will benefit greatly from this book."--Reed Lessing Concordia Journal

"A tremendously useful resource for anyone engaged in studying the Old Testament."--The Monthly Record of the Free Church of Scotland

"This volume certainly reflects a breadth of scholarship beyond that of the SOTS volumes. The reader of this volume is left constantly marveling over the depth of bibliography in each of the articles. Each essay is a valuable reference work that provides summaries of issues and theories as well as insightful evaluation."--Robert D. Bell, Biblical Viewpoint

"This volume is a 'must read' for OT guild members, whether evangelical or otherwise. Over time it will become as well-worn a friend . . . I only hope that the publisher would provide us a companion 'Face of New Testament Studies' of the same quality and scope."--Robert Hubbard Jr., Themelios

"Any student (or teacher, for that matter) wanting an up-to-date survey of OT studies over the past thirty years or so could do little better than this volume. . . . This collection shows that evangelical OT scholarship is alive, well, informed, and incisive."--Society for Old Testament Study Book List

"This volume admirable fulfills the promise of its title by providing an excellent survey of contemporary approaches to Old Testament studies. . . . The book is very helpful as a survey of contemporary Old Testament scholarship and its recommended for that purpose."--John F. Brug, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly

"This is the kind of book that is like manna from heaven for students struggling to find some direction through the maze of contemporary Biblical studies. . . . it can be recommended without reservation."--Themelios

"This volume is profitable for the student and the specialist to gain knowledge of the state of Old Testament studies of the late twentieth century. . . . The editors should be admired for wanting their contributions to be evaluated by their acumen, insight, and to add distance toward understanding."--Timothy Snow, Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin