The Flowering of Old Testament Theology is a reader designed to delineate “not only the issues but the progress and the achievements” of Old Testament theology during the twentieth century (ix). This purpose is accomplished by introducing readers to the major scholarly views on Old Testament theology and to the most influential scholars through excerpts from their writings. The Flowering of Old Testament Theology is the first volume in a series recently initiated by Eisenbrauns publishers. The focus of this series is to provide general students of the Old Testament with the opportunity to “interact with foundational works firsthand” (vii).
The Old Testament is much more of a theological scrapbook than a textbook, containing no systematic discussion of doctrines and religious practices. Scholars have therefore attempted to delineate the major theological views of ancient Israelites, the development of those views, and the ways they were understood and applied by communities of believers from ancient times to the present. Not surprisingly, the variety of religious and academic orientations among modem scholars has produced an array of opinions not only about the major theological components in the Old Testament, but also about the definition of Old Testament theology.