Brueggemann on the Nature Reading of the Old Testament

From Walter Brueggemann’s Theology of the Old Testament:

…the characteristic claim of Israel’s testimony is that Yahweh is an active agent who is the subject of an active verb, and so the testimony is that Yahweh, the God of Israel, has acted in decisive and transformative ways… There is, to be sure, a large and vexed literature about “the acts of God,” literature that tends to proceed either by recognizing that such utterances make no sense historically., or by reifying the phrase into a philosophical concept…

Israel’s testimony, however, is not to be understood as a claim subject to historical explication or to philosophical understanding. It is rather an utterance that proposes that this particular past be construed according to this utterance. For our large purposes we should note, moreover, that such testimonial utterance in Israel is characteristically quite concrete, and only on the basis of many such concrete evidence does Israel dare to generalize.

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