Who Needs the Old Testament?: Its Enduring appeal and why the New Atheists Don't Get it

Who Needs the Old Testament?: Its Enduring appeal and why the New Atheists Don't Get it

by Katharine Dell

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Overview

Who needs the Old Testament? It might be a literary classic, but what relevance does it have today? How much of it can we believe anyway?

Katharine Dell invites you to rediscover the appeal of the Old Testament for the twenty-first century. In doing so she deftly refutes hard-line attacks by writers such as Richard Dawkins; she firmly critiques the atheistic agenda of those scholars who seek to undermine the Old Testament's historical grounding; and she helpfully reassures those within the church who express doubts about its usefulness as a resource for Christian life and thought. Written by a world expert, this book will help many, both inside and outside the church, to gain a more informed appreciation of the different kinds of literature contained in the Old Testament, and a more nuanced understanding of the developing vision of God to which they witness.


""Dell confronts the 'New Atheists' head-on, demonstrating how their reading of the Old Testament ignores its cultural context and misrepresents its account of God, the world, and humankind. With equal rigour, she examines the conflicted intersection between Church and Academy, where scholarly skepticism seeds a growing clerical reluctance to preach and teach the Old Testament. . . With the skill of a scholar and the passion of one committed to the work of the church in the modern world, Dell demonstrates why and how the Old Testament offers a rich and realistic account of life in all its messiness. As she puts it, the Old Testament 'can be our friend, even if a challenging one at the end of the day'.""
--Samuel E. Balentine, Professor of Old Testament, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Virginia

Katharine Dell is Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology, and Fellow, Tutor, and Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. A world expert on the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, her most recent books include Ethical and Unethical in the Old Testament (2010), Opening the Old Testament (2008), and The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context (2006).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532619649
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 06/30/2017
Pages: 268
Sales rank: 1,239,178
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author

Katharine Dell is Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology, and Fellow, Tutor, and Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. A world expert on the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, her most recent books include Ethical and Unethical in the Old Testament (2010), Opening the Old Testament (2008), and The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context (2006).

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction ix

Part 1 Breaking the New Atheist Spell

1 From Dawkins to Marcion: countering scepticism and atheism 3

2 The character and scope of the Old Testament: countering a bad press 27

3 Meeting Dawkins head-on: texts in Genesis 49

4 Homing in on Hitchens (and Dawkins): Exodus, Numbers and legal texts 76

5 Countering Dawkins: texts in the 'histories' 99

Part 2 Engaging with the Old Testament

Introduction 119

6 The Writings: a neglected corner of the Old Testament 121

7 The Prophets: a more convincing source of morality? 144

8 Back to the Pentateuch and historical books: the power of story 162

9 Questioning the history of Israel: scepticism within the academy 187

10 A Christian perspective on the Old Testament 204

Notes 221

Further reading 241

Index of biblical references 243

Index of authors and subjects 249

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