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JOURNAL OF T H E AMERICAN ACADEMY OF RELIGION

The principle of showing movement on


the maps is excellent in the abstract, but
in the concrete instance it may force one
to make a choice that is nothing but a
guess. For example, it seems very doubtful that Babylonian exiles to Palestine in
the time of Tiglathpileser (150) or Ezra
the scribe, in going to Jerusalem (169)
followed the west side of the Euphrates
and crossed over to Syria via Palmyra.
Again we find unattractive the idea that
Philip baptized the Ethiopian only a short
distance from Jerusalem and that each
then went his own way the eunuch to
Gaza and Philip to Azotus and hold
with Dalman (1924) that Philip baptized
the Ethiopian a short distance north of
Azotus and then (as the ancient writer
believed) was translated to that city (cf.
1 Kings 18:12). That Paul went to Damascus via Jericho rather than via Galilee,
or that he came back by a different route
also is guesswork. Such uncertainties in
routes could have been indicated by the
authors in the accompanying text, but
they were probably discouraged from doing so by their publisher's desire to have
everything appear authoritative.
It is obvious, therefore, that there are
many questions involved in this kind of
map-making. But such criticism should
not becloud the fact that the authors have
created a book useful to all those who
study ancient history with particular interest in the Old and New Testament
fields, and who are willing to linger long
enough over the study of maps to garner
their profit. W e congratulate the authors.
E M I L G . KRAELING

Introduction to the Old Testament. By


ERNST

SELLIN

Translated

by

and

GEORG

DAVID

FOHRER,

GREEN.

New

York-Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1968.


540 pages. $9.50.

Old Testament Life and Literature. By


GERALD A. LARUE. Boston: Allyn and

Bacon, 1968. xiii+513 pages. $8.75.


Fohrer has written virtually a separate book. While the earlier Sellin (as
revised by Rost) had 186 pages, no indexes, limited documentation, traditional
structure arranged parallel to the Hebrew
canon, discussion of apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, and a chart only on the
growth of literature, Fohrer's revision
provides 540 pages, including indexes
of scripture and subjects, copious footnotes, and an up-to-date international
bibliography, which alone are worth the
price of the volume. Its format is organic,
bringing together similar kinds of literature with an extensive list of text traditions from Qumran and other sites. Fohrer
postpones canon and text until the end,
and leaves deutero-canonical and noncanonical works for a separate volume
by Rost.
Substantive additions include an unsurpassed analysis of prophecy and its
literary forms in the Near East, a comparable study of Wisdom, a masterful
treatment of literary types and of the
processes of compilation and transmission, an espousal and description of
Source N, and a fine discussion of nonMasoretic text forms, text criticism, and
textual corruption. In analyzing prophecy
this volume observes that the seer is
indigenous to semi-nomadism, having influenced prophecy by adding a sense of
solitude and mysterious knowledge and
by devaluating ecstasy. He points out
that Westermann overlooks the personal
factor and that Reventlow fails to distinguish form from function, Sitz-im-Leben
from Sitz-in-der-Rede. He also maintains
that prophetic books were compiled early.
In treating literary types and the processes
of compilation and transmission, traditional categories are replaced by terms
like regulating, requesting, proclaiming
and instructing, narrating, reporting, and

REVIEWS

communicating. The character of Hebrew


prose, retentional style and short verse
are discussed with a mastery unequaled
even by Hempel. All of this shows the
book to be an original contribution to
Old Testament research, one that puts
all of us in the author's (and translator's)
debt.
Traditionally, introductions are either
historical or literary (or a combination of
the two, with more emphasis on one way
or the other): Larue's is historical;
Fohrer's, literary. This accounts for their
different structures, Larue's arranged
according to chronology, Fohrer's, by
similarities of literary form. In a chron
ological approach, historical data are
paramount; literature is treated only as
it illumines the historical setting. Such
an approach is weak because much of the
Old Testament is undatable (particularly
Proverbs, Psalms, P, Wisdom, and
glosses in prophetic works), and the Old
Testament was intended as a record of
Israel's self-understanding, not as history.
This procedure does, however, permit a
superb discussion of the pre-biblical
world and an idea of the emergence of
Israel's religion. On the other hand,
Fohrer's literary approach displays a
clear grasp of the impact of Yahwistic
faith upon literary forms and a view of
the literature as narrated religious en
counter. Fohrer addresses the scholarly
world; Larue, the college student. This
explains the lack of illustrations in Fohrer
and their abundance in Larue. Larue
chooses pictures and charts well; remem
bering his readers, he treats soundly reli
gious language, canon, text, the English
Bible, and general problems of the disci
pline all with commendable humility
as to final answers. With an uncanny
ability Fohrer discerns basic issues and
trends and evaluates differing method
ologies. His audience motivates his
valuable warnings against (1) misuse of
form-criticism and tradition-history; (2)
over-emphasis of treaty curses; (3) early

301
dating of Psalms (Fohrer thinks over 62%
are post-exilic); (4) division of Psalms
as to content rather than form, and exag
gerated emphasis upon Zion; (5) assump
tion of a unified ancient Near Eastern
culture; and (6) stress on the lateness
of writing.
Larue's book is appropriately named,
for his strength lies in the portrayal of
Old Testament life, rather than in literary
analysis. I am painfully aware that the
book lacks adequate treatment of proph
ecy (especially at Mari), or of Wisdom
in the ancient world, or of the forms of
poetry. But the fine contrast of prophecy
and apocalyptic, the provocative analysis
of (movement from the general to
the particular, as in creation-man-Noah;
genealogies; covenants; divine names)
and of E's variety, the excellent descrip
tion of David as pathetic hero and of Solo
mon (with welcome reserve as to his role
in Wisdom) do much to remove the
disappointment.
The two authors often agree, particu
larly as to the literary development of
exilic and post-exilic Judaism. They agree
on the dating of hopeful passages within
prophetic literature (Mie. 4-5), and of
Joel, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and
Esther. Whereas Larue uses progressive
interpretation, Fohrer prefers source
analysis and supplementation (JNEDP,
no Deuteronomic history). Larue sees Job
as a satire that shows the futility of theo
logical discussion, while Fohrer's exten
sive research in this book leads him to
these conclusions: Chap. 3 is Job's first
speech and Chaps. 29-31 a divine chal
lenge; extra-biblical literature is related
to Job only inform; the book's purpose is
not theoretical but the concrete question as
to how a devout sufferer should conduct
himself. Fohrer calls Deutero-Isaiah the
beginning of prophecy's decline (nation
alistic and materialistic); Larue stresses
its background in the Akitu festival (cf.
the Azazel ritual and Royal Zion psalms).
Fohrer interprets Ecclesiastes in light of

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JOURNAL OF T H E AMERICAN ACADEMY OF RELIGION

the Gilgamesh Epic, Lamentations in the ancient Near East and a valuable
connection with extra-biblical material, addition to our library of text books.
and Song of Solomon as artistic rather Fohrer's introduction, unmatched by any,
than popular. He denies a polemical tone will occupy a prominent place on the desk
to Ruth. Larue disagrees.
of all who wish to understand the literMy objections to Fohrer's treatment ature of the Old Testament on a scholare minor. The practice of placing au- arly level.
thors' names in parentheses after an arguJ. L. CRENSHAW
ment often fails to make clear whether
these men are attacked or quoted for
Mercer University
substantiation; it is improbable that a
nationalistic prophet like Nahum would
himself have chosen a poem of such religious vitality as Chap. 3 ; and it is unlikely
that the story of Hosea's marriage contains an implicit message of salvation. Twentieth Century Interpretations of the
Book of Job. Edited by PAUL S. SANDERS.
Larue's treatment, however, requires
Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey: Prencriticism at a number of substantial
tice-Hall,
Inc.,
1968. vii+118 pages.
points. Besides the chronological ap$3.95.
proach, I object to a certain imbalance,
both in regard to coverage of works like
Of the collecting of critical (and
Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, pseudo-critical essays) there is apparently
and in regard to documentation. Often no end. This collection of 20th century
inferior literature is cited, while striking pieces on Job contains three articles from
omissions occur (Johnson: Jonah 2; Noth: journals and seven excerpts from books.
Micah and Danites; Hyatt, Eissfeldt: The selections range in quality from the
deity, Bethel; Alt: apodictic law; Robin- patently outrageous woolgathering of
son: divine council; Wolff: knowledge in Arnold Toynbee from A Study of History
Hosea; Otto: idea of holiness, and so to the clear and incisive distinctions beforth). Despite stating the intention to tween tragedy and religion made by D. D.
discuss the Old Testament on a level ap- Raphael in The Paradox of Tragedy. As
propriate to sophisticated students, Larue an interpretation, the latter is perhaps
attacks Mosaic authorship of the Penta- the best in the book. It shows a command
teuch and the unity of Isaiah. Giving the of perspective not shared by all contribimpression that pioneer work has been utors. Kissane's "The Metrical Strucdone by English and American scholars, ture ojob" stands alone as an exclusively
he rarely refers to works in other lan- factual and analytical essay.
guages. Furthermore, the author's archaeIn his presentation, Richard Sewall
ological interest limits the choice of hardly supports the epithet he gives Job:
journals and literature cited; this gives a "the towering tragic figure of antiquity"
one-sided view which the supplementary (p. 21). In contrast, Raphael (p. 53) does
bibliography does not completely correct. not find Job tragic "because the grandeur
Many errors were allowed to creep into of the hero is deliberately shrunk to
the text (over 75, as opposed to a scant nothing before the sublimity of the power
dozen in Fohrer): such as, incorrect he has questioned." In fact, Raphael (p.
spellings (Uppsala), confusion of Hebrew 55) considers religion of the Bible inimiletters, reversal of an illustration, and cal to tragedy "first because it is optimistwo omissions of complete sentences. tic and trusts that evil is always a necesDespite these weaknesses, Larue's sary means to greater good, and secondly
book is a first-rate introduction to life in because it abases man before the sublim-

^ s
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