Old Testament Theology (1962-1965 Rad), book (English ed.)

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Old Testament Theology (1965) is a book by Gerhard von Rad.


As the title suggests, this two-volume work provides a new methodological approach to the study of Old Testament Theology. Von Rad combines the literary-critical tradition of Wellhausen and the form-critical approach of Gunkel to define Old Testament theology not through systematic categories or assumed central topics, but rather as “ever new attempts to make the divine acts of salvation relevant for every new age and day” (vi). In other words, von Rad treats the Old Testament historically, and states that there is no single ‘theology’ of the Old Testament. The theology of the Old Testament can only be described as a developing narrative over time. Though the entire first volume and much of the second deal with ancient Israel, Rad does devote the last few chapters of the second volume to Daniel, Apocalyptic Literature, and the use of the Old Testament in the New. Interestingly, he opposed Russell’s opinion that apocalyptic is a ‘child of prophecy,’ and argues instead that the two are incompatible because of divergent views of history. -– Deborah Forger, University of Michigan.

Editions and translations

First American ed., translated from the German, in New York: Harper, 1962-1965. First British ed. in Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1962. The American ed. is reissued in Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

Table of Contents

Vol II.

Part One: General Considerations in Prophecy

  • A. Introduction
  • B. Prophecy before the Classical Period
  • C. The Oral Tradition of Prophecy
  • D. The Prophet’s Call and Reception of Revelation
  • E. The Prophet’s Freedom
  • F. The Prophet’s Conception of the Word of God
  • G. Israel’s Ideas about Time and History and The Prophetic Eschatology

Part Two: Classical Prophecy

  • A. Amos and Hosea
  • B. Isaiah and Micah
  • C. The New Element in Eighth-Century Prophecy
  • D. The Age of Jeremiah
  • E. Ezekiel
  • F. Deutero-Isaiah
  • G. The New Elements in Prophecy in the Babylonian and Early Persian Period
  • H. The Prophets of the Later Persian Period and the Prophecies of the New Jerusalem
  • I. Daniel and Apocalyptic

Part Three: The Old Testament and the New

  • A. The Actualization of the Old Testament in the New
  • B. The Old Testament’s Understanding of the World and Man, and Christianity
  • C. The Old Testament Saving Element in the Light of the New Testament Fulfillment.
  • D. The Law
  • E. Postscript
  • List of Abbreviation and of Works Frequently Cited
  • Index of Scriptural Passages
  • Index of Hebrew Words
  • Name and Subject Index

External Links