Book Reviews

Review of Abschied von der Priesterschrift? Edited by Hartenstein and Schmid
Book Reviews , Old Testament / April 11, 2016

Hartenstein, Friedhelm, and Konrad Schmid, eds. Abschied von der Priesterschrift? Zum Stand der Pentateuchdebatte. Veröffentlichungen der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Theologie 40. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2015. pp. 218. €38, paperback. The collapse of the Documentary Hypothesis beginning in the 1970s left many of the traditional results of critical Pentateuchal research in its wake. Despite the renunciation of the existence of the Yahwist and Elohist sources by Rolf Rendtorff and others, the Priestly Writing (P) has survived largely unscathed, although its characterization as a source is no longer taken for granted. A litany of questions now revolves around the nature of P as a source or redactional layer as well as P’s extent and internal stratification. A group of continental scholars gathered to address these and related issues in the Old Testament section of the Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Theologie in May 2012 at Stuttgart-Hohenheim. Christoph Levin surveys the history of research on the nature of P and its composition, particularly within the framework of documentary, fragmentary, and supplementary models. Levin finds persuasive the arguments in favor of P’s literary independence and attributes the emergence of a separate Priestly history parallel to the Yahwistic/non-P history to the uniqueness of the Priestly worldview, particularly…

Review of After the Invasion: A Reading of Jeremiah 40-44 by Keith Bodner
Book Reviews , Old Testament / March 7, 2016

Bodner, Keith. After the Invasion: A Reading of Jeremiah 40-44. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. viii + 179, $90, hardback. Keith Bodner is Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in New Brunswick, Canada.  Bodner has written several books and commentaries including Elisha’s Profile in the Book of Kings: the Double Agent (Oxford, 2013), Jeroboam’s Royal Drama (Oxford, 2012), and 1 Samuel: A Narrative Commentary (Sheffield Phoenix, 2008), among other titles. Bodner’s writings have largely been within the area of narrative criticism. After the Invasion is an excellent work that will help any thoughtful student of the Bible understand the text of Jeremiah, and particularly Jeremiah 40-44, better. After the Invasion was written “to make a contribution to the interpretation of Jer 40-44 by undertaking a reading of the text with a primary interest in the narrative poetics of the text” (p. 3). In doing this Bodner examines that text of Jeremiah 40-44 in a sequential manner and focuses on features within the narrative like characterization, geography, point of view, temporal compression, plot, intertextuality, and irony. There are two features of this book that I would like to highlight. First, it is well-written and well researched. This work combines…