Biblical Studies Yesterday and Today

One should begin by warning the reader that it is impossible to make general statements regarding any phase of Biblical criticism today without running the risk of oversimplification. The whole field is in a state of flux. It is moving, certainly, but it is not always easy to say in what direction. Sometimes it gives the impression that it is moving in several mutually canceling directions at once. Even upon major points there is often little unanimity to be observed. As a result, scarcely a single statement can be made about the state of the field that would not be subject to qualification. Indeed, perhaps the only safe generalization possible is that the critical orthodoxy of a generation ago, with its apparent certainties and assured results, has gone, but that no new consensus has taken its place. Nevertheless, in spite of confusion and disagreement, certain significant trends can perhaps be charted.

John Bright, pp 13-14 in his chapter “Modern Studies of Old Testament Literature” in The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of William Foxwell Albright (Doubleday, 1961).

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

I just yesterday found a used hardback copy of this book in nearly perfect condition for only ten bucks! The only slight defect is that the upper edges of the pages are well-foxed, which I find quite fitting for this particular title.


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