Old Testament Theology provides a foundational tool for a theological reading of the Old Testament. In the book's central chapters, John Kessler delineates six differing representations of the divine-human relationship, with special emphasis on the kind of response each one evokes from the people of God. He traces these representations through the Old Testament, into the New Testament, and reflects on their significance for the values and character formation of the people of God today. Old Testament Theology combines elements of Old Testament history, exegesis, hermeneutics, and theology, and situates them within the social, cultural, and intellectual world of ancient Israel and Israelite religious institutions. The result is a comprehensive and readable introduction to Old Testament theology for students in seminaries and colleges.
Preface: What Is This Book About?
List of Abbreviations
1 Reading the Old Testament Theologically
Challenges and Rewards
2 Hearing God's Voice in the Old Testament
3 The Old Testament's Portraits of Relationship with God
4 Creation Theology
The Relationship of Knowing God as Creator and God's Purposes for Creation
5 Covenants and Covenantal Relationships in Israel and the Ancient Near East
6 Sinai Covenant Theology
The Relationship of Grateful Obligation
7 Promise Theology
The Relationship of Confident Expectation
8 Priestly Theology
The Gift of Yahweh's Holy Presence
9 The Theology of Divine Accessibility
Speaking to God amidst the Manifold Experiences of Life
10 Wisdom Theology
The Relationship of Faith Seeking Understanding
11 Living in the House That God Built
Learning to Read Scripture for Theological Emphasis and Relational Response
John Kessler is Professor of Old Testament, Tyndale University College and Seminary. He resides in Toronto, Ontario.
John Kessler's Old Testament Theology: Divine Call and Human Response helps students navigate the often confusing thought world of the Old Testament by identifying key theological streams and the kind of response each one seeks from the people of God.
~Marion Ann Taylor, Professor of Old Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
John Kessler has integrated his responses to the ground problems and antagonisms regarding the Scriptures into his exegetical method. The author challenges readers to look after other streams that determine the faith tradition from which the Hebrew Bible ensues. The study relies on thorough knowledge of the Scriptures themselves, the history of their interpretation, the contemporary discussion on language concerning transcendental issues and the large variety of historical and literary methods applied. Therefore, master and postgraduate students, teachers and pastors of every Christian denomination, moreover readers of divergent disposition, in love of or curious about or even prejudiced against the Old Testament as part of the Christian Bible, will find their questions taken seriously to the end while being helped to assess the Book at its true values.
~Willem A. M. Beuken, Catholic University Leuven
Kessler's sensitive and deep-level readings provide a helpful guide through the diverse traditions of the Old Testament in order to hear the relational responses being summoned from the text throughout. This is the work of a confident and bold scholar who is not threatened by the theological diversity running along the crevices and fractures of the Old Testament text.
~Bill T. Arnold, Acting Dean, School of Biblical Interpretation and Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary