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Since the rise of critical biblical study in the nineteenth century there has been a revolution in the way that we interpret the Bible and in the methods we employ to facilitate our reading. Professor John Barton has been a major recent influence upon such developments and this volume, written by friends, former doctoral students and colleagues, reflects upon his contribution. A generation of scholars has engaged with, adopted and further developed Professor Barton's nuanced and careful explication of method, as exemplified particularly in his book Reading the Old Testament:Method in Biblical Study. This volume is a tribute to his pioneering influence upon our field. The book divides into two parts. In the first, 'Revisiting Older Approaches', older methods in biblical studies such as source criticism and textual criticism are reviewed, both as methods and in relation to worked examples. In the second part, entitled 'Breaking the Mould', newer types of criticism such as sociological, feminist and post-colonial readings are explored, again in relation to particular texts and examples. The book asks questions about the benefits and shortcomings of the methodological tools in our biblical critical tool-box and about the way texts are themselves brought to life in ever fresh interpretative and often interdisciplinary contexts. An array of distinguished contributors comes together in this volume to pay tribute to the honorand and to explore from a diversity of angles that ever intriguing, ever 'new' book - the Bible.
Paul Joyce is Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at King's College London. He studied Theology at Oxford University before completing doctoral studies in Old Testament supervised by John Barton at Oxford, where he was Kennicott Hebrew Fellow. His first post was as Lecturer and subsequently Director of Studies at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, a Theological College of the Church of England. He then moved to the University of Birmingham as a Lecturer and subsequently to Oxford University, where he was University Lecturer in Old Testament and a Fellow of St Peter's College. He served as Chairman of the Oxford Theology Faculty Board 2008-2011. He has researched and written especially on the interpretation of the books of Ezekiel and Lamentations, and also their reception. He is also interested in psychological interpretation and in the theme of hospitality in biblical and cross-cultural perspective.
Katharine Dell is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Cambridge specializing in Old Testament Studies and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. She was educated at Oxford where she took her first degree in theology and then a doctorate on the book of Job supervised by John Barton. She was Lecturer in Old Testament at Ripon College Cuddesdon before moving to Cambridge in 1995. Her particular interest is in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament and she has written a number of books on Job, two on Proverbs and is currently working on the book of Ecclesiastes. She is also interested in ecological approaches to biblical texts and theological ideas about creation; and in musical interpretation. She has written both an introduction to the wisdom literature (Get Wisdom, Get Insight: An Introduction to Israel's Wisdom Literature, (DLT, 2000)) and one to the whole Old Testament (Opening the Old Testament, (Wiley Blackwell, 2008)).