Reading the Old Testament is intended for students who have already learned some of the techniques of biblical study, and would like to explore the wider implications and aims of all the various critical methods currently in use. It provides an independent assessment and comparison of the latest developments against the old, with chapters on form and redaction criticism, canonical studies, biblical structuralism and the relationship of reader to text. the various methods are all applied to Ecclesiastes to illustrate their particular strengths.
The author also seeks to show the value of 'secular' literary criticism to our understanding of biblical method and goes on to argue that there are strong similarities between the two approaches. Biblical and literary criticism belong to the humanities and the texts they handle are meant to be read, not processed.
This new edition of a highly regarded and classic text has been revised and updated to cover the latest developments in biblical study, including deconstruction, post-structuralism, semiotics and postmodernism.
'Theological and literary students will get from this book the clearest possible idea of the present state and prospect of Old Testament criticism.' -- Frank Kermode 'The work is well informed, its expression clear and attractive; it can be read without previous technical knowledge, and its total point of view carries conviction.' -- James Barr