A top Old Testament theologian known for his accessible and provocative writing probes what is necessary to understand and appropriate the Hebrew Bible as a fundamental resource for Christian theology and life today. This volume offers a creative example of theological interpretation, modeling a way of doing Old Testament theology that takes seriously both the nature of the biblical text as ancient text and also the questions and difficulties that arise as believers read this text in a contemporary context.
Walter Moberly offers an in-depth study of key Old Testament passages, highlighting enduring existential issues in the Hebrew Bible and discussing Jewish readings alongside Christian readings. The volume is representative of the content of Israel's Scripture rather than comprehensive, yet it discusses most of the major topics of Old Testament theology. Moberly demonstrates a Christian approach to reading and appropriating the Old Testament that holds together the priorities of both scholarship and faith.
R. W. L. Moberly (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of theology and biblical interpretation at Durham University, where he has taught for more than thirty years. He is the author of eight books, including The Theology of the Book of Genesis; Prophecy and Discernment; and The Bible, Theology, and Faith: A Study of Abraham and Jesus. He is also an ordained priest in the Church of England.
Walter Moberly is easily among the best and most compelling Old Testament theologians working today. In his latest offering, he builds off of previous work, advancing a reading of Israel's scriptures within a Christian frame of reference such that the claims of the ancient text are repeatedly shown to have lively and enduring implications for contemporary faith. Moberly reads the text with careful attention to both its large conceptions and its detailed philology, offering an interpretation that is at once theological and existential, designed, ultimately, for lively and faithful performance. More than anything else, this volume distinguishes itself (and its author) as exceedingly wise--something that can be said for precious few books these days. Here is a volume that I will use and return to often.
-Brent A. Strawn,
associate professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Old Testament theology in the form of eight exegetical performances. A Moberly omnibus: clear, thoughtful, engaging, and of contemporary relevance.
senior research professor, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
A truly exegetical approach! Moberly's signature style is patient, humane, and wise, combining loving attention to representative biblical texts (rather than general 'themes') with probing reflection on what it might mean for twenty-first-century Christians to enter imaginatively into Israel's heritage. The result is at once a deft response to the Old Testament's modern despisers, a sympathetic engagement with Judaism, and a sustained, compelling appeal to reintegrate Old Testament interpretation within the conceptual framework of classical Christianity and the concrete practices of Christian life.
-Stephen B. Chapman,
associate professor of Old Testament, Duke University
Anyone who appreciates Walter Moberly's writing will appreciate this new work: urbane, focused, careful, learned, nuanced, fearless, independent, rejoicing to look closely at a few trees in the conviction that they will throw light on the nature of the forest, and conservative in the best possible way. When Professor Moberly dives down promising rabbit holes, you never know where they will lead, but you know that the exploration will be engaging, intriguing, and well worth the admission price.
David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
Moberly, a pioneer in reading the Old Testament as Christian Scripture, presents here an engaging model for appropriating that ancient text for life. Through careful readings of representative texts and informed theological reflection, he demonstrates significant resonances across the canon. This work, however, is no mere academic exercise. Moberly explores the person of God to give realistic direction to faith. This novel Old Testament theology is stimulating--more important, it is useful.
-M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas),
Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Denver Seminary
Insomniacs and those in search of doorstops will be sorely disappointed in Walter Moberly's Old Testament Theology. This is not your grandfather's biblical theology. Moberly has produced a provocative set of probing theological meditations built around a few select Old Testament texts. While carefully engaging the biblical text and the secondary literature, Moberly opens the conversation to a wider audience by honestly and thoughtfully addressing popular critiques of the Bible and religion.
-Joel S. Kaminsky,
professor of religion, Smith College