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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Tight Fists or Open Hands?: Wealth and Poverty in Old Testament Law
Baker, David L.

Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2009 pp. xxiv + 411. $36.00

Description: Any Christian response to todayís ever-growing problem of poverty around the globe must be firmly rooted in the teaching of the Bible. While books on various aspects of wealth and poverty in the Old and New Testaments have been published, so far there has been no thorough study of Old Testament law on the topic. David Baker argues here that an understanding of that law is not only fundamental for interpreting the entire Old Testament but is also assumed by the writers of the New Testament. Tight Fists or Open Hands? fills this gap in Old Testament scholarship and lays a foundation for considering the relevance of these laws to everyday life in the twenty-first century. / The heart of this book is a study of all the Old Testament concerned with wealth and poverty. Baker groups these laws together by topic, considering the similarities and differences between the Decalogue, Book of the Covenant, Holiness Code, and Deuteronomic Laws. He places these in the wider context of ancient Near Eastern law in order to make clear which attitudes are distinctively biblical. / Each section of Tight Fists or Open Hands? includes an extended conclusion that summarizes the main ideas, considers relationships with other biblical texts, and points to the significance of the laws for todayís world. Bakerís combination of thorough exegesis and modern application makes this book relevant to pastors, scholars, and students in a variety of courses.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Literature, Methods, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Theology

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Review by Timothy Sandoval
Published 4/17/2010
Citation: Timothy Sandoval, review of David L. Baker, Tight Fists or Open Hands?: Wealth and Poverty in Old Testament Law, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2010).

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