Constituting the Community Studies on the Polity of Ancient Israel: In Honor of S. Dean Mcbride Jr.
Constituting the Community is a Festschrift written in honor S. Dean McBride and his long career as a biblical scholar and as a man of faith. His career as a scholar has ranged from teaching at Yale and Union Theological Seminary to serving as a member of the NRSV’s translation committee and as editor of the Hermeneia series at Fortress Press. His faith has found expression in his involvement in the Presbyterian Church, where he has served and led in various lay capacities. This Festschrift is written by colleagues and students who want “to carry Dean’s intellectual genealogy into another generation” (x). A preface sketches a biographical overview of McBride’s life and career (vii), after which an introduction gives an overview of the contents of the Festschrift’s chapters (1–14). The Festschrift uses one of McBride’s own articles as a springboard for delving into the issue of polity in ancient Israel, a topic it examines in four major sections. Part 1, entitled “Approaching Polity in Ancient Israel,” includes the following essays: S. Dean McBride Jr., “Polity of the Covenant People: The Book of Deuteronomy” (17–33); Frank Moore Cross, “The Priestly Houses of Early Israel” (35–55); and James L. Mays, “Justice: Perspectives from the Prophetic Tradition” (57–71). Part 2, “Polity in the Torah,” contains: David L. Petersen, “Polities in Genesis 12–35” (75–88); John T. [Full Review]
This collection of fifteen essays provides a lively tribute to the work of S. Dean McBride Jr., responding in various ways to his seminal essay (reprinted in this volume), “Polity of the Covenant People: The Book of Deuteronomy” (Int 41 : 229–44). In this volume the editors have succeeded in gathering together a series of essays that are focused on the analysis and description of a number of polities in ancient Israel. The book includes an introduction by the editors (1–14) that provides a summary of the content of each article and a rationale for the organization of the compilation. The volume also includes an index of authors and an index of scripture references. The volume is divided into four parts. Part 1, entitled “Approaching Polity in Ancient Israel,” includes three essays: “Polity of the Covenant People: The Book of Deuteronomy,” by S. Dean McBride Jr. (17–33); “The Priestly Houses of Early Israel,” by Frank Moore Cross (35–55); and “Justice: Perspectives from the Prophetic Tradition,” by James Luther Mays (57–71). Each essay has been published previously and in many ways is a classic. The inclusion of McBride’s essay provides helpful context for the essays that follow. Part 2, entitled “Polity in the Torah,” includes: “Polities in Genesis 12–36,” by David L. [Full Review]