Has 1966 been a good year for Old Testament publications in English? Quantitatively, yes. But qualitatively, particularly from an evangelical viewpoint, the answer must be a guarded no.
Certain areas have been solidly productive during the past year. One is commentaries: of the eleven Old Testament releases that can be identified as the year’s most important for evangelicals, five are in this category. Yet only one of these, and that the least intensive, can be called conservative. The level of such top-notch 1965 volumes as M. Woudstra’s The Ark of the Covenant or E. J. Young’s Isaiah 1–18 (“New International Commentary”) just was not attained during 1966. Still, liberal sets such as Allenson’s “Studies in Biblical Theology,” Doubleday’s Anchor Bible, and Westminster’s “Old Testament Library,” along with a few conservative sets such as Baker’s “Studies in Biblical Archaeology,” “Shield Bible Study Series,” and “Old Testament History Series,” continued to produce on schedule. The following survey seeks to point out, by area, some of the leading books of 1966, plus a few from 1965 that appeared too late to be listed last year.
Concerning the biblical text itself, Father Alexander Jones’s edition of The Jerusalem Bible (Doubleday) ranks as one of the year’s top eleven volumes in Old Testament. Although its headings and notes generally render the 1956 French Bible de Jérusalem, its text is in splendid English. But when its Roman Catholic sponsors bill it as “unbiased” and as “acceptable to all faiths,” one wonders what conservatives—whether Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish—are supposed to make of its third-century date for Chronicles or its “figurative Yahwistic narrative” in Genesis 2:4b ff.
Then there were the two Catholic Bibles ...1
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