This collection of John Barton's work engages with current concern over the biblical canon, in both historical and theological aspects; with literary reading of the Bible and current literary theory as it bears on biblical studies; and with the theological reading and use of the biblical text. John Barton's distinctive writing reflects a commitment to a 'liberal' approach to the Bible, which places a high value on traditional biblical criticism and also seeks to show how evocative and full of insight the biblical texts are and how they can contribute to modern theological concerns. This invaluable selection of published writings by one of the leading authorities on biblical text and canon, also includes new essays and editorial introductions from the author.
’Barton is always worth reading and he is to be congratulated on this fine volume.’ International Review of Biblical Studies ’[Barton] has made a major contribution to OT studies over the last few decades and everything he writes has been characterised by deep thought and careful argument and set forth in an unusually elegant and lucid style, so it is always a delight to read what he has to say. … It is a great boon to have all these stimulating essays made more easily accessible under one cover.’ Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
Contents: General introduction; Part I Canon: Introduction; 'The law and the prophets'. Who are the prophets?; The canonical meaning of the Book of the 12; Canon and Old Testament interpretation; Canonical approaches ancient and modern; Unity and diversity in the Biblical canon; Marcion revisited; Old Testament or Hebrew Bible? Part 2 Literature: Introduction; Classifying Biblical criticism; Reading the Bible as literature: 2 questions for Biblical critics; Historical criticism and literary interpretation: is there any common ground?; What is a book? modern exegesis and the literary conventions of ancient Israel; Should Old Testament study be more theological?; The future of Old Testament study; Wellhausen's Prolegomena to the History of Israel: influences and effects; Intertextuality and the 'final form' of the text; The final form of the text; Thinking about reader-response criticism; On Biblical commentaries. Part 3 Theology: Introduction; Gerhard von Rad on the world-view of early Israel; Preparation in history for Christ; History and rhetoric in the prophets; The Messiah in Old Testament theology; Covenant in Old Testament theology; The day of Yahweh in the minor prophets; Index.