In the introduction, he critiques the idea of the historical introduction (as by Eichorn) as divorcing the idea of canon and the idea of the development of Hebrew literature, focusing only on the latter. Secondly, he maintains that traditional historical introductions do not take seriously the relation between Israel’s traditions and its canon, not giving enough emphasis to the form and shaping of the canon. Thirdly, he asserts that these introductions fail to recognize the significance of Israel’s literature for the community. His task is to overcome the tension between canon and historical criticism.

Contributions:

  • It is an introduction to the doing of canonical exegesis, to the finding of a canonical reading for the Hebrew Bible. This canonical reading will take seriously, even be in dialogue with, “some” of the critical studies found in Old Testament scholarship.
  • Childs has provided biblical scholarship with an important critique of its present practices and an important component for a viable biblical interpretation in the future.

Critique/Shortcomings:

  • his particular format presupposes far more knowledge of critical scholarship man many possess. Sanders’ Torah and Canon, though operating from different presuppositions, is still die only introduction to a canonical reading of scripture which is appropriate for beginning students.
  • Childs has opened up perspectives in literary matters, but behind those lurk theological decisions that Childs has only posed and not resolved.

FULL REVIEW

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