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1957 Nr. 9




Altes Testament


Kraus, Hans-Joachim


Geschichte der historisch-kritischen Erforschung des alten Testaments 1957


Fohrer, Georg

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Theologische Literaturzeitung 1957 Nr. 9


und diese also als Symptom begreift, und da er nach dem Ganzen
dieser Systematik fragt, hat er die Diskussion um ein wesentliches
Stück vorwärts gebracht.

Pfaffhausen bei Zürich H. Conzelmann


E i ß f e 1 d t, Otto: Einleitung in das Alte Testament unter Einschluß
der Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen sowie der apokryphen- und
pseudepigraphenartigen Qumrän-Schriften. Entstehungsgeschichte des
Alten Testaments. 2., völlig neubearb. Aufl. Tübingen: Mohr 1956.
XVI, 95 5 S. 8° = Neue Theol. Grundrisse, hrsg. von R. Bultmann.
DM 43.— ; Lw. DM 48.80.

For more than twenty years the Standard Introduction to
the Old Testament has been the great work of Professor Eiß-
feldt. In all countries where the Old Testament is studied there
will be a warm welcome for the new and revi6ed edition, which
is likely to remain the outstanding work in this field for another

The new edition is longer than the old by two hundred pa-
ges. A very substantial amount of new work is therefore included
here, and this edition completely supersedes the former work.
The general arrangement of the book is similar in both editions.
There is first of all an examination of the types of literary ma-
terial found in the Old Testament, and a general account of the
way in which the books of the Old Testament were gathered
together from older materials. The various books of the Old
Testament are then examined in the Order in which they stand
in the Hebrew Canon. There follows a section on the Canon,
after which the books of the Apocrypha and other inter-testa-
mental works are briefly considered. The materials for the textual
criticism of the Old Testament are surveyed in the concluding

The major difference from the former edition is a section
dealing with the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Damaskusschrift. In
the former edition the Damaskusschrift did not figure amongst
the inter-testamental Iiterature. Now it takes its place amongst the
texts associated with the Qumran sect, of which Professor Eißfeldt
offers a good survey. Here, and indeed throughout the whole
volume, the author shows himself well acquainted with the vast
Iiterature on the subjects with which he deals. Everywhere his
bibliographies have been brought up to date, and he provides
ample evidence that these are not merely catalogues of titles, but
works whose contents he knows. In twelve pages of Literaturnachträge
further bibliographical information is supplied, much
of it very recent, and not a little of it having appeared while
the present work was in the press.

Here and here throughout the work new sections will be
found. One of these discusses the view that the Former Prophets
constituted a Single historical work. It has long been held that
all of these works were compiled by members of the Deuterono-
mic school, but in recent years the view that they formed a Single
Deuteronomic History, with the book of Deuteronomy as its introduction
, has gained currency. The long interval separating
the compilation of these books from the composition of Deuteronomy
does not make this view probable. For Deuteronomy
seems to have been written in the reign of Manasseh, whereas
the Former Prophets appear to have been compiled during the
generation that followed the finding of Josiah's Law-book. That
they were compiled under the inspiration of Deuteronomy seems
clear; that they were ever attached to it in a Single collection
is a theory for which there is no evidence.

Throughout the book the positions adopted by Eißfeldt in
the former edition are adhered to in the main. In recent years
the death of literary criticism has been frequently announced. It
will be found alive and flourishing in the work of Eißfeldt, who
is an unrepentant literary critic of the first importance. More
than thirty years ago, he carried the classical Wellhausen analy-
sis of the Pentateuch a step further by the delimitation of the
source L, which he held to be the oldest of the sources and one
which Stands in the strongest contrast with the Priestly Code,

and which he therefore called the Lay source. This view still
Stands in the present edition. It is curious that in all his treat-
ment of the Pentateuch, the author does not mention the work
of Professor Engnell, to whom he refers frequently in other
connections. For Engnell is the apostle of Oral Tradition as the
supplanter of literary criticism, and while he recognizes layers
of oral tradition in some respects comparable with the docu-
ments of literary criticism, he assigns the reduction of the Te-
trateuch (Genesis to Numbers) to writing to a date much later
than literary criticism accepts for the earlier documents of this
collection. This theory might have been mentioned in the section
dealing with the history of Pentateuchal criticism, even though
the author does not hold it to be acceptable.

A glance at the list of Iiterature at the head of the section
on Ezekiel in the old edition and the new will indicate how much
discussion has been devoted to this book. It is therefore not sur-
prising that there are greater changes here than in many of the
sections, in order that all this newer Iiterature may be surveyed.
From all the ferment of discussion and the welter of new views
there is little sign yet of any one view emerging which will
command as general assent as the older critical view of this
book, which accepted Ezekiel as a Babylonian prophet of the
sixth Century B. C. There is, however, a greater readiness to
find secondary materials in the book, though little agreement as
to their extent.

It is significant that the multiplicity of challenges to the
view of the Pentateuch associated with the names of Graf and
Wellhausen, which marked the two decades before the late War,
have left but little trace in contemporary thought, while the
Ural Tradition challenge seems likely to be no more successful,
and that the challenges on the book of Ezekiel seem likely to
leave no considerable lasting trace. This would suggest that in
the main the work of literary criticism is done, and that broadly
fpeaking the positions set forth in Eißfeldt's book are likely to
hold the field for a considerable time. Here and there modifica-
tions of detail may be made, and we must always be ready to
give füll consideration to any new hypotheses that may be put
forward. But the way of advance for Old Testament scholarship
now lies in the study of the meaning of this Iiterature rather
than of its sources. This gives an added importance to the present
work. Its bibliographies will constantly need to be brought
up to date, and as more of the texts from Qumran bccome known
the section dealing with them will need to be revised. But as a
whole this work will remain as a masterly review of its subject,
indispensable to every serious Student of the Old Testament bv
reason of its unrivalled knowledge and sound judgement, and
establishing anew the base from which our next advances may be
made. For no study of the meaning of the Old Testament can be
valid that ignores the critical work that has been done.

Manchester H. H, Rowley

Kraus, Hans-Joachim, Prof.: Geschichte der historisch-kritischen Erforschung
des Alten Testaments von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart
. Neukirchen Kr. Moers: Verlag der Budihandl. des Erziehungsvereins
[1956], XI, 478 S, gr. 8°. DM 24.-; Lw. DM 27.50.

Vor nahezu neun Jahrzehnten erschien Ludwig Diestels
„Geschichte des Alten Testaments in der christlichen Kirche", in
der auch die Ansätze der historisch-kritischen Forschung eingehend
dargestellt wurden. Sowohl die unzureichende Berücksichtigung
der geistes- und theologiegeschichtlichen Zusammenhänge in
Diestels Werk als auch die seitherige Weiterführung und Durchsetzung
der historisch-kritischen Forschung haben Kraus dazu
veranlaßt, eine neue Darstellung unter ständigem Rückgriff auf
die Quellen vorzulegen. In ihr werden einerseits aus der Hermeneutik
, der Einleitungs- und Geschichtswissenschaft und den Untersuchungen
zur atl. Theologie die entscheidenden, richtungweisenden
und zukunftsbestimmenden Vorgänge in den einzelnen
Forschungsphasen (unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Pentateuch
, Prophetie und Psalter) zu erfassen versucht. Andererseits
steht das Ganze unter der Frage, was aus dem reformatorischen
Bekenntnis „sola scriptura" unter dem Anwachsen der historischen
Kritik geworden ist, da doch die Reformatoren selbst mit ihrer