Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tribute to Brevard S. Childs

When I attended the Society of Biblical Literature convention this past November, I purchased a book that I'd not yet seen, The Bible as Christian Scripture: The Work of Brevard S. Childs, edited by Christopher R. Seitz and Kent Harold Richards.

Childs (1923-2007), was professor of Old Testament at Yale in 1958 till 1999 (and Sterling Professor in 1992-1999) He was known for his "canonical criticism," which focused upon the biblical text as canon, in contrast to the historical-critical method. He wrote several books, a notable one of which was Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (1979). I was very privileged to have him as my Old Testament professor at Yale Divinity School during the Fall 1979 semester, when that book was just beginning to be discussed. I am diligently searching for a letter he wrote to me in the early 00s in response to a grateful letter that I had sent to him.

During these past several years of renewing my personal Bible study, I've enjoyed studying again not only his Introduction book but some of his others. The past few weeks I've been enjoying reading through Seitz's and Richards' book, a tribute and assessment of Childs' work. (I didn't know Seitz but I vaguely remember that he was an Old Testament doctoral student at the time I did my masters degree there.)

The contents of the book:

Preface by Christopher R. Seitz

The Works of Brevard Springs Childs

Tribute to Brevard S. Childs, at the International SBL Meeting in Vienna, Austria, by Christopher R. Seitz.

Brevard Childs and Form Criticism, by David L. Petersen

The Wrath of God at Mount Sinai (Exod 32; Deut 9–10), by Jörg Jeremias

The Contrastive Unity of Scripture: On the Hermeneutics of the Biblical Canon, by Bernd Kanowski

Brevard Childs as a Historical Critic: Divine Concession and the Unity of the Canon, by Stephen B. Chapman

Theological Interpretation, the Historical Formation of Scripture, and God’s Action in Time, by Neil B. MacDonald

Faith Seeking Canonical Understanding: Childs’s Guide to the Pauline Letters, by Leander E. Keck

Childs and the History of Interpretation, by Mark W. Elliott

Biblical Theology and the Communicative Presence of God, by Murray A. Rae

The Doctrine of God is a Hermeneutic: The Biblical Theology of Brevard S. Childs, by C. Kavin Rowe

A Shared Reality: Ontology in Brevard Childs’s Isaiah Commentary, by Mark Gignilliat

A Tale of Two Testaments: Childs, Old Testament Torah, and Heilsgeschichte, by Don Collett

Reflections on the Rule of Faith, by Leonard G. Finn

Childs and the Canon or Rule of Faith, by Daniel R. Driver

Psalm 34: Redaction, Inner-Biblical Exegesis and the Longer Psalm Superscriptions—“Mistake” Making and Theological Significance, by Christopher R. Seitz

Allegory and Typology within Biblical Interpretation, by Brevard S. Childs

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