Interpreting Deuteronomy: Issues and Approaches, Edited byDavid G. Firth and Philip S. Johnston

Interpreting Deuteronomy

Issues and Approaches

Edited by David G. Firth and Philip S. Johnston

Interpreting Deuteronomy
  • Length: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: November 19, 2012
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 3989
  • ISBN: 9780830839896

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The book of Deuteronomy has been immensely influential, not least within the Old Testament itself. It is found among the most frequently occurring manuscripts at Qumran, and it is also one of the Old Testament books most frequently cited in the New Testament. In Matthew?s Gospel, it is Deuteronomy which Jesus cites in rejecting temptation.

As with so many other Old Testament books, study of Deuteronomy is in the midst of significant change. While for many scholars the Documentary Hypothesis has continued to provide a framework for interpretation, it no longer commands the status of an "assured result." Instead, fresh approaches have been developed, engendering their own debates. Recent as well as older study affirms that Deuteronomy represents a distinctive theological voice within the Pentateuch.

While many excellent resources are now 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 assumes some foundational knowledge and guides readers through current issues and approaches. Here is evangelical scholarship that will inform, stimulate and reward diligent teachers and preachers of the Old Testament.

The contributors are Paul Barker, Jenny Corcoran, David G. Firth, Greg Goswell, Christian Hofreiter, Philip S. Johnston, James Robson, Csilla Saysell, Heath Thomas, Peter T. Vogt and John H. Walton.

"Interpreting Deuteronomy will enlighten its readers to the wonderful field of Deuteronomic studies. For students, the book will become a handy resource for further study. For professionals, the book will serve as an endless source of information for teaching Deuteronomy."

Jeffrey G. Audirsch, Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament, 2.1

"Firth and Johnston are to be commended, first of all, for assembling these excellent essays on Deuteronomy, a book that is so important for OT theology. . . . This anthology is a worthy read, and is commended especially to students of arguably the most theologically important book of the OT, the last of the five books of the Torah."

Eugene H. Merrill, Themelios


David G. Firth and Philip S. Johnston
Part 1: Approaching Deuteronomy
1. The literary composition of Deuteronomy
James Robson
2. Theological interpretation of Deuteronomy
Paul Barker
Part 2: Issues in Deuteronomy
3. The Decalogue structure of the deuteronomic law
John H. Walton
4. Centralization and decentralization in Deuteronomy
Peter T. Vogt
5. Civil leadership in Deuteronomy
Philip S. Johnston
6. Passing on the faith in Deuteronomy
David G. Firth
7. Life and death in Deuteronomy
Heath Thomas
Part 3: Reading Deuteronomy
8. Deuteronomy in the intermarriage crisis in Ezra-Nehemiah
Csilla Saysell
9. The paratext of Deuteronomy
Greg Goswell
10. The alien in Deuteronomy 29 and today
Jenny Corcoran
11. Genocide in Deuteronomy and Christian interpretation
Christian Hofreiter
Index of authors
Index of Scripture references
Index of other ancient sources


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David G. Firth is tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol. He is the author of 1 & 2 Samuel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary), The Message of Esther, and The Message of Joshua, and the coeditor of Interpreting the Psalms, Interpreting Isaiah, Words and the Word, and Presence, Power and Promise.

Philip S. Johnston is director of studies in theology and religious studies and senior tutor at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. He has taught at Belfast, St. Andrews, and Oxford. He has published studies of Israelite afterlife beliefs, and has an interest in Israel past and present--along with a commitment to reconciliation. His other books include Les Psaumes, Interpreting the Psalms (coeditor with David Firth), Shades of Sheol, and The Land of Promise (coeditor with Peter Walker).