This volume will provide an understanding of the issues, problems, and methods of approach in contemporary Old Testament study.
Dr. Hayes first describes the development of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible and how it came to exist in three canonical forms--Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant. He then discusses the goals of textual criticism: an understanding of the transmission of the text in its various forms throughout history and the reconstruction of the text in its most authentic and original form. New terms are defined as they are introduced in each section.
An examination of the critical methods of study of the Old Testament--literary, historical, and form critical--are offered. The author presents opposing views fairly, and his helpful summaries of the topics under discussion make the book an ideal study text.
The background, tools, and methods used to examine and interpret the main sections of the Old Testament--the Pentateuch, the historical books, the prophetic writings, the Psalms, wisdom literature, and the Apocalyptic writings are all presented in the second half of the study. Bibliographies in each of the chapters include only sources available in English or in translation for those who plan further study.
Beginning students interested in an introduction to, and a limited history of, Old Testament study will value this well-organized and lucidly written book.