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Issues and Approaches
edited by David G Firth & Philip S Johnston
Publisher:Apollos imprint of IVP
Published:16 November 2012
This would be a useful book for a minister or pastor planning to preach a series of sermons on Deuteronomy. It is academic and therefore, I would say, not aimed at a general readership. On the back cover we are told, "While many excellent resources are available, these tend to be either introductory or highly specialized; there are fewer that bridge the gap between the two. This volume contributes to that need." It is the type of book that can sometimes be a bit dry, but I was surprised how interesting I found much of it. There are 11 different contributors including the editors and, as you might expect, some chapters proved to be of more interest than others. The first chapter considers the questions of when the book was written and by whom, the second looks at some of the theological issues that arise from the book, while the third looks at the link between the Decalogue (the 10 words, i.e. commandments) and the way Deuteronomic law is structured. There are chapters on civil leadership, passing on the faith, life and death, paratext (a new term to me!), the alien and genocide. A couple of these chapters, although of some interest, I found long. The final chapter, which considers the problems arising from divinely-commanded genocide, was thought-provoking. It is certainly one of the better academic books that I've read. To again quote from the back cover, "Here is evangelical scholarship that will inform, stimulate and reward diligent teachers and preachers of the Old Testament."
Reviewer: Brian Kerr (23/03/13)