I mina doktorandstudier vid Åbo Akademi ingår en rad läskurser, som jag genomför med att skriva kritiska bokreferat på litteratur jag måste läsa. Jag har nu bestämt mig för att här på min blogg presentera dessa bokreferat, som är på engelska då jag skriver på detta språk i mitt doktorandarbete. Varför gör jag detta? Svaret är enkelt, för att sprida kunskap.
Jag startar ut med ett bokreferat på Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Jag kommer enbart att presentera de fyra första kapitlen plus en egen kommentar i slutet (sex inlägg inklusive detta), då hela boken är 688 sidor lång. Dessa kapitel är dock viktiga då Childs där presenterar och förklarar sin canonical approach. Observera, Childs åsikter och syn på Gamla testamentet är naturligtvis nödvändigtvis inte mina egna.
Presentation of the author
Brevard S. Childs is Sterling Professor of Divinity and Fellow of Davenport College, The Divinity School, Yale University. He has authored well known works such as The Book of Exodus (1974), Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context (1985), Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments(1992) and Isaiah (2001).
Presentation of the book
The background to the book Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture is described by Childs as a process, where he began to realize that there was a need for a new foundation for the biblical discipline. Something was wrong with the whole concept of the study of the Bible. He explains that “the relation between the historical critical study of the Bible and its theological use as religious literature within a community of faith and practice needs to be completely rethought”. Thus, a different model is presented in this introduction that “seeks to describe the form and function of the Hebrew Bible in its role as sacred scripture for Israel.”
Childs argues that biblical literature has not been fully understood because its role as religious literature has not been correctly analysed. Therefore his approach seeks to describe the canonical literature of the Hebrew Bible, where the “canonical” is the context from which the literature is being understood – to hear the biblical text in that context (the collection and transmission) as scripture. Childs wants to establish a proper context from which to read the biblical literature.
Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture is divided into six parts. The first part contains four chapters that introduces and explains Childs’ model that seeks to describes the Hebrew Bible as Israel’s Holy Scripture. The first chapter describes the “The Discipline of Old Testament Introduction” and the next three chapters discusses different aspects of the biblical canon and its relationship to biblical criticism and the text itself. In part 2 to 5 Childs applies theologically and hermeneutically his model on each book of the Old Testament. He follows the Hebrew canon: The Pentateuch (part 2), The Former Prophets (part 3), The Latter Prophets (part 4) and the Writings (part 5). Each chapter in these parts has, with some exceptions, the following structure: 1. Historical Critical Problems, 2. The Canonical Shape of [biblical book], 3. Theological and Hermeneutical Implications. Finally in part 6 Childs concludes this massive work of 688 pages (including index of authors) with the theme “The Hebrew Scripture and the Christian Bible”.
The first impression of the book is that its content is very clear and logically structured, which makes it fairly easy for the reader to follow Child’s general idea. All the chapters in the book begins with an extensive bibliography (chap. 1-4, 44) plus a list of commentaries (chap. 5-43) up to 1979 when the book was published.
 Brevard S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979), 15.
 Ibid., 16.