Study of the Old Testament has long been dominated by what is sometimes called the 'historical-critical method': careful analysis of individual books in order to discover their component sources, with great emphasis on historical context and concern, especially in the prophetic books, to isolate what was original and (it was therefore assumed) most important. In recent years people have asked whether this approach is the only proper one, and whether there may not be alternative understandings which are equally valid. This book attempts to outline some of those alternatives while retaining the values of the traditional methods. Nine separate chapters set out the importance of sociology and anthropology, of liberation and feminist perspectives, and of literary criticism, as well as the more traditional approaches, in a way that will be comprehensible to those approaching the Old Testament for the first time as well as for those who are not satisfied with existing conventions of study.
Introducing the Old Testament