Understanding Old Testament Ethics: Approaches and Explorations

John Barton

Understanding Old Testament Ethics: Approaches and Explorations
Understanding Old Testament Ethics: Approaches and Explorations

Book Details

Book Information

Pages: 228
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Published: 2003
ISBN-10: 0664225969
ISBN-13: 9780664225964


To review this book, please Login or Register.

5 out of 5 based on 3 user ratings
An important addition to a growing body of literature on the topic, this collection features Bartons previously published essays (19782001) and includes a fresh introduction and conclusion. Some of the older essays are supplemented with a selective, updated bibliography. Equipped with scriptural and author indexes, this volume focuses primarily on biblical narrative and prophetic literature, with only scant attention devoted to the Law and the Writings. There is reason for such selectivity: the introductory and concluding chapters draw significantly from Eckart Ottos Theologische Ethik des Alten Testaments (1994), which says almost nothing about the Prophets ... or a bout narrative (2). Bartons collection addresses this gap. His introductory chapter makes an initial foray into the moral dimensions of biblical narrative, identifying specific challenges and pitfalls. For inspiration on method, Barton draws from literary critic Martha Nussbaum, whose works explore how narrative texts serve as vehicles for elucidating moral issues that are otherwise difficult to convey in other discursive genres. [Full Review]
Whoever expects under this title an ethics of the Old Testament will be disappointed, because the author delivers already-published collected essays mostly of the 1970s and 1980s. This book was an opportunity for the author to republish his 1980 SOTSMS 6, Amoss Oracles against the Nations, which was an expanded form of one chapter of his 1974 dissertation. This monograph is the key section of four contributions to a prophetical ethics of Amos, Isaiah, and Daniel as second part of the book. The first part collects articles related to methodological and principal problems of an Old Testament ethics that were published between 1978 and 1999. Not yet published are only the chapters of introduction, an Ethel Wood Lecture for 2000 at the University of London, and a conclusionthe only piece that is entirely new and the most important and decisive part of the book. It is throughout a critical discussion of the reviewers ethics of the Old Testament (see Eckart Otto, Theologische Ethik des Alten Testaments [Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1994]). The points of agreement are less important here than those of critical disagreement. Barton asks if the category of moral failure ( Scheitern), which he thinks has n prominent function in my ethics, is a Protestant interpretatio moderna: The theme of the Scheitern of human efforts at self-improvement through law and wisdom looks familiar to me from Protestant systematics, and one might wonder whether the Old Testament really recognizes it as centrally as Otto implies. No author can deny his cultural background, also not a northern German Lutheran. [Full Review]
John Bartons expertise and exte nsive work in the area of Old Testament ethics within the broader discipline of Old Testament theology has been well known and received. This book brings together nine previous articles conveniently in one volume that spans thirty years of his best critical thinking. In the preface, he clarifies that no full-scale updating of these pieces was undertaken to prepare th em for this publication. Inclusive language and up-to-date bibliographies are two modifications that enrich especially the older material. The introduction and conclusion are newly written. Barton himself characterizes this collection as a history of my thi nking on this subject. In some sense, Understanding Old Testament Ethics sets a foundation or down payment for a future monograph that will represent his distilled and current thinking, as suggested both in the preface and at the end of his conclusion, particularly a full-length volume on prophetic ethics which remains to be written. The sequence has two parts: (1) Morality and Justice in the Hebrew Bible, and (2) Explorations in the Prophets. Bartons in troduction, The Moral Vision of the Old Testament, effectively sets up his ongoing admiration and engagement with Eckart Ottos Theologische Ethik des Alten Testaments (1994), whose analysis focuses specifically on law and wisdom as the building blocks of Israels moral teaching, excluding narrative and prophetic literature. [Full Review]

Goodreads Reviews

Google Book Preview


Top Commentaries by Book Top Commentaries by Series Forthcoming & Unreleased Commentaries
Pentateuch History Poetry Prophets Minor Prophets
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1/2 Samuel 1/2 Kings 1/2 Chronicles Ezra/Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi
OT Primary Source Material OT Canon OT Textual Criticism OT Hermeneutics OT Introductions OT Theology OT Theological Dictionaries OT Archaeology Hebrew Lexicons Hebrew Grammars (Introductory) Hebrew Grammars (Intermediate) Hebrew Grammars (Advanced) OT Backgrounds OT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias OT History and Religion Ancient Near Eastern Histories Israelite Religion OT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Documentary Hypothesis Deuternomic History Other OT Studies and Issues
Gospels/Acts Pauline Epistles General Epistles
Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1/2 Thessalonians Pastoral Epistles Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter/Jude Johannine Epistles Revelation
NT Primary Source Material NT Canon NT Criticism NT Textual Criticism NT Hermeneutics NT Introductions NT Theology NT Theological Dictionaries NT Archaeology Greek Lexical Analysis Greek Lexicons Greek Grammar (Introductory) Greek Grammars (Intermediate) Greek Grammars (Advanced) NT Backgrounds NT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias NT History and Religion NT Near Eastern Histories NT Church History / Apostolic Period NT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Jesus and the Gospels Synoptic Gospels and Surrounding Issues The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting Pauline Studies Johannine Studies Petrine Studies Lukan Studies Other NT Studies and Issues
Systematics Subjects
Systematic Theology Bible/Bibliology Doctrine of God/Theology Humanity/Anthropology Sin/Harmartiology Jesus Christ/Christology Holy Spirit/Pneumatology Salvation/Soteriology Angels and Demons/Angelology The Church/Ecclesiology End Times/Eschatology Israel/Israelology Rewards/Misthology Other Systematics Biblical Theology Biblical Hermeneutics Biblical Canon Scriptures and Revelation Narrative Themes Prolegomena Trinitarianism Sacraments Providence/Soveriegnty Heaven and Hell Worship Theology Ethics Origins Apologetics Worldviews/Philosophies Biblical Archaeology Environmental Issues Ancient Near Eastern Theology Modern Near Eastern Theology Judaism Messianic Judaism Church History (incl. Post Apostolic) Historical Theology Second Temple Judaism Eternal Security / Assurance Israel and Church - Supersessionism Other Theological Subjects
Christian Life Ministry
Workplace Home Anxiety / Depression etc. Technology Prayer / Intercession Bible Study Cultural Issues Other Life Issues Mission / Evangelism Church Growth Preaching Church Leadership Discipleship Pastoral Care Biblical Counseling Worship Praxis Teaching (Biblical and Rabbinic) Other Ministry
Controller: 00:00:00 ; Template: 00:00:00.0156250