OBST510 Bookreview2 Walton Essay

Submitted By herman20039
Words: 4312
Pages: 18

Introduction The book is broken down in fourteen chapters and begins with a definition of terms. Those fourteen chapters consist of each having five sections with over twenty historical images. The author provides the audience an appendix of images used in this published work as well as gives his acknowledgements accompanied by a list of abbreviations. The author uses several contemporary studies as a big part of his research as well as reviews the ancient and Near Eastern and Israelite cognitive context. This section provides a general guidance for students and the audience to have a better understanding by expanding their knowledge of today’s culture, and historical culture and the way it interacts with the ancient world culture. This section also provides a nice balance of the different audiences in examining all the research and artifacts in order to assist the individual for understanding both the historical prospective and culture in relation to the Bible. John Walton provides an introduction to Ancient Near Eastern literature as well as an overview for the understanding of the world of Ancient Israel. The author asserts that there are three key roles in which comparative studies helps for biblical interpretation: “critical analysis, defense of the biblical text, and exegesis.” [1] Walton presents many facts as well as analyzes the artifacts he presents in order to enable his audience to understand through not just a biblical perspective but also a historical one, and ultimately combining them both as the book unfolds. This textbook is a remarkable source for any student, scholar and/or historian who strives to enhance their knowledge and understanding of OT studies as well as Ancient Israel. Ancient Near Eastern thought and The Old Testament is divided into five parts; Part 1 “Comparative Studies” is composed of two chapters. Part 2 is only one chapter and focuses on the literature of ancient Near East. In Part 3 Walton shifts his focus to Religion, talks about Cosmos in Part 4 and in Part 5 the author explores people. John Walton uses various historical sources, diagrams and an extensive amount of research in order to deliver an effective method for helping his audience understand comparative studies.

Part 1- Comparative studies The first section of the book is titled ‘comparative studies’. This section is composed of the first two chapters of the book. Chapter one is history and methods. Chapter is composed of mainly the introduction of comparative studies, scholarship, and theology.
This section deals with the continuously growing division between scholars of a secular nature and those of a religious nature. The purpose of this part of the book is setting the Bible apart from comparative studies that focuses its work in a negatively manner in which the historicity, canonicity, and divine revelation of Gods’ Word is depicted. The author’s main argument in part 1 has to do with his own beliefs that biblical scholars should use comparative studies because it is important to have knowledge on the background of religious practice and help “create a spectrum to define the varieties of differences and similarities to classify nuances of relationship more precisely.” [2]

Chapter 1 – History and Methods In chapter 1, the author defines and describes the comparative study as “a branch of cultural studies in that it attempts to draw data from different segments of the broader culture (in time and or space) into juxtaposition with one another in order to assess what might be learned from one to enhance the understanding of another.”[3] The author’s reasoning for this is that comparative study is greatly needed because the literary genres, religious practices, and cultural dimensions of ancient Israelite theology are all rooted in ancient Near Eastern culture, and that without any formal guidance of background studies, many are bound to misinterpret the text. John Walton provides