Konrad Schmid has a new volume- Theologie des Alten Testaments.
Unter den Teildisziplinen der alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft galt die Theologie des Alten Testaments lange als deren vornehmste Aufgabe. Doch in den letzten Jahrzehnten wurde mehr und mehr undeutlich, was eine Theologie des Alten Testaments eigentlich zu leisten habe. Konrad Schmid wendet sich zuerst der historischen Klärung des Theologiebegriffs in Anwendung auf die Bibel zu, diskutiert dann die Vielgestaltigkeit vorliegender Hebräischer Bibeln und Alter Testamente, um dann die theologischen Prägungen der Bücher und Sammlungen des Alten Testaments anhand prominenter Leittexte zu erheben. Weiter schließt der Autor eine Skizze zur Theologiegeschichte des Alten Testaments sowie eine thematisch orientierte und historisch differenzierte Darstellung wichtiger Themen alttestamentlicher Theologie mit ein. Der Band versteht sich gleichzeitig als eine gewisse Synthese der gegenwärtigen Forschung am Alten Testament in theologischer Perspektive.
See the Mohr website for the table of contents and other details. They will not be unnecessarily repeated here.
The nine chapters and their forty-two sections here presented offer readers a guidebook into the theology of the Hebrew Bible. As he moves from the question of the discipline of Old Testament Theology itself to the sundry manifestations of that discipline from antiquity through the Reformation to the Enlightenment and the Romantic Period he provides an overview of the discipline suitable for emulation and admiration. Methodologically, Schmid’s development of his theme is exceptional. Content-wise, he addresses all the key issues and readers find new light shed on them.
Schmid then considers the discipline of Theology in a Jewish context and from there he turns to Old Testament theology’s encounter with Dialectical theology and up to the present.
Once that is done, and it takes two chapters to do it, Schmid turns his attention, and ours, to a more precise discussion of the ‘Hebrew Bible’ and the ‘Old Testament’ – with all that those terms imply. From their roots to their transformations. This means that he must also discuss various methodological approaches to the text of the Bible (whether Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) and their implications for our understanding of the Bible.
In chapter five, then, Schmid is set free to describe the theologians of the HB/OT and in chapter six he reads more particularly in the topics of the Law, Prophets, and Writings and gleans for readers their theologies.
This brings Schmid to something of a reconstructed History of Israel into which are set the theologies and their theologians.
Chapter eight, the most engaging of the whole (for the present reviewer), is a survey of the various themes of Old Testament theology including God’s Acts, Life in the World, The God of History, Political Theology, Law, The Temple, the People of God, the Monarchy, Zion and Sinai, the place of Mankind in the plan of God, and the varieties of Old Testament theologies.
The final chapter is a very helpful discussion of the importance of the Hebrew Bible for Jews and the Old Testament for Christians.
Each section is prefaced by a thorough and up to date bibliography and there are topical pointers in the margins on each page so that readers can very quickly scan in each section and discover the subject most of interest to them. A brief Scripture index and a fairly short subject/ person index bring the volume to a close.
Various portions of the present work have appeared in earlier published form. These are few, though, and Schmid describes them in the foreword. He also makes mention of his utilization of the 2017 edition of the Zurich Bible for his Biblical texts.
The volume at hand is very much worth reading. And, fortunately, has already been translated into English so that those unskilled in German will nonetheless have the opportunity to access the profound learning contained in these pages.
Not since Gerhard von Rad’s Old Testament Theology has a work been so engaging, useful, and insightful. It deserves to be, nay, it must be read by all students of the Hebrew Bible. It is the ideal theological compendium.
NB- For the review of the English Edition, see here.