What is the Old Testament?-- what does it mean?-- did it all happen?-- what does archaeology contribute?-- what kind of society was Israel?-- what is man?-- the Old Testament as liberation?-- what kind of literature?-- what kind of religion?-- is a theology possible?
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Study of the Old Testament has long been dominated by what is sometimes called the 'historical-critical method': careful analysis of individual books in order to discover their component sources, with great emphasis on historical context and concern, especially in the prophetic books, to isolate what was original and (it was therefore assumed) most important. In recent years people have asked whether this approach is the only proper one, and whether there may not be alternative understandings which are equally valid. This book attempts to outline some of those alternatives while retaining the values of the traditional methods. Nine separate chapters set out the importance of sociology and anthropology, of liberation and feminist perspectives, and of literary criticism, as well as the more traditional approaches, in a way that will be comprehensible to those approaching the Old Testament for the first time as well as for those who are not satisfied with existing conventions of study. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Sirach is a book that raises a very distinctive set of problems. What should we call it (Sirach, Ecclesiasticus, Ben Sira)? What is the relation between the traditional Greek text and the recently rediscovered Hebrew parts of the book? Where did it stand in relation to Jewish tradition and the Hellenism that was sweeping the Mediterranean world? In this guide, a new addition to Sheffield's series on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, these questions are discussed, as well as the use the author made of Scripture, and the scholarly placing of the book in the Wisdom tradition. The author's attitude to women is considered and the volume ends with a consideration of some of the chief theological themes of Sirach.