Book Review – Between the Testaments

Between the Testaments by D.S. Russell

This book has some interesting information, though on the whole it is very much an introductory sort of book.  The bibliography is rather brief (and of course 60-some years old).  On the whole it displays what I think of as a typical mid-century approach to Biblical scholarship.  Russell assumes and presents wholeheartedly the idea that the Biblical texts cannot be trusted in terms of their presumed authorship dates (Isaiah can’t really be 8th century BC since, of course, that would mean it’s prophetic about events that will happen much later!) and at times in terms of their content.  Other sources are presumed to be more reliable, particularly if they don’t have a theological bent to them, or at least one that we aren’t expected to take seriously.

While some of the background information is helpful I wanted greater depth and detail.  And of course as someone who takes God and therefore the possibility of prophecy seriously, I reject the basic assumptions that Russell is very comfortable with.  It isn’t that he has better data or information that I’m lacking, he’s just comfortable with a different understanding of God and therefore the Biblical text that ultimately, in my opinion, undoes both.

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