Jun 11, 2019

Old Testament Ethics

In a recent monograph, M. Daniel Carroll R. surveys five scholars on their approach to Old Testament ethics: Brevard Childs, Charles Scobie, John Goldingay, Walter Brueggemann, and Pablo Andiñach. The entire chapter is worth reading but here is part of Carroll’s helpful concluding summary.
"The Old Testament theologies that are presented briefly (and most inadequately!) in this essay hold several things in common. Clearly, all assume that ethics is integral to Old Testament theology. All also agree that the best form of the biblical text for engaging ethics is the received canon. Finally, these theologies coincide on the conviction that the Old Testament needs to be allowed to offer its ethics on its own terms before articulating a relationship to the New Testament.
"At the same time, this survey reveals differences. First, each has a distinct governing paradigm that controls how the ethical material of the Old Testament is handled. Childs coordinates his canonical textual method with a specific theological ethics (“commanded ethics”). Scobie systematizes Old Testament ethics thematically under specific headings, both broad and definite. Goldingay’s work is thematic in a different kind of way, by providing detailed readings of passages, books, and sections of the Hebrew Bible. Brueggemann and Andiñach are reluctant to tie the Old Testament too tightly to the New."
M. Daniel Carroll R., “Ethics in Old Testament Theologies: Theological Significance and Modern Relevance,” in Interpreting the Old Testament Theologically: Essays in Honor of Willem A. VanGemeren, ed. Andrew C. Abernethy (Grand Rapids, 2018), 251.

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