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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Bible as a Human Witness to Divine Revelation: Hearing the Word of God Through Historically Dissimilar Traditions
Heskett, Randall and Brian P. Irwin, editors

New York: T&T Clark, 2010 pp. xxix + 363. $150.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 469


Description: This work represents the attempts of several major scholars to respond to the historical problems presented throughout the biblical testimony and their description of what this means for reading scripture. Walter Brueggemann, for example, has written a wonderful article on various historical problems within the book of Genesis, beginning with Von Rad’s and Noth’s use of source criticism and his own understanding of how historically dissimilar texts can function within scripture. This book honors the work and life of Gerald Sheppard, who broke ground in biblical studies by describing what it means to read the Bible as Jewish and Christian Scripture. It distinguishes between the original historical dimensions of the text or mere redaction levels of tradition history and what Sheppard regarded as the “Scriptural Form” of the biblical testimony. It provides new and fresh ways for describing scripture as both a human testimony and also divine revelation. The Bible as a Human Witness to Divine Revelation provides examples of how major scholars have responded to the limits of the older-modern criticisms within the framework of still applying a variety of historical criticisms and paying attention to the later formation and context of the biblical book. It also helps readers understand how to hear “the word of God” through biblical text that are filled with historical dissimilarities or even contradictions. The book shows scholarly examples that respond to crises of both the pre-modern and modern eras as unfinished projects because pre-modernity tended to ignore the human dimensions of scripture and modernity tended to limit its inquiry only to that single dimension

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Theology

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Review by S. D. Giere
Published 11/22/2012
Citation: S. D. Giere, review of Randall Heskett and Brian P. Irwin, eds., The Bible as a Human Witness to Divine Revelation: Hearing the Word of God Through Historically Dissimilar Traditions, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).


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