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xiv + 378 pp.

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Interpreting the Text
Essays on the Old Testament, its Reception and its Study, edited by Walter J. Houston and Adrian H.W. Curtis
Roger Tomes

Roger Tomes (1928–2011) was a well-known British scholar of the Old Testament, wide-ranging in his interests and meticulous in his scholarship. He was particularly productive after his retirement from his post at Northern College, Manchester, an interdenominational college for ministry training and theological study, and remained an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. He excelled in the conference paper or journal article form, but made no collection of his papers in his lifetime. Two of his Manchester colleagues have here made a selection from both his published essays and his unpublished papers, many of them delivered in the last few years to the Ehrhardt Seminar for biblical research in Manchester.

Tomes was always concerned with the relevance of the Bible to the life of the Church, and the earliest essay in the volume, from 1969, is a contribution to the theology of the Old Testament. Others deal with the reception of biblical criticism in theological education in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One of Tomes’s abiding concerns was with Jewish–Christian relations; his interests in Jewish interpretation are reflected here in a study of the rabbinic use of the book of Jeremiah, and an essay on the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus. He was working on the reception history of the story of David at the time of his death, and the fruits of that study are included in the form of two fascinating essays. Besides all this, the book covers a range of topics in the study of the Old Testament, including the deutero-canonical writings, its law and historical writings in particular.


Roger Tomes was Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Religions and Theology, University of Manchester, and formerly Lecturer, Northern College, Manchester.

Series: Hebrew Bible Monographs, 71
978-1-909697-72-0 hardback
Publication April 2015

Contents
Roger Tomes by George J. Brooke

Part 1: Old Testament
1 Exodus 14: the Mighty Acts of God: An Essay in Theological Criticism
2 ‘A Perpetual Statute throughout your Generations’
3 The Reason for the Syro-Ephraimite War
4 ‘Our Holy and Beautiful House’: When and Why Was 1 Kings 6–8 Written?
5 ‘Come and See my Zeal for the Lord’: Reading the Jehu Story
6 Heroism in 1 and 2 Maccabees
7 ‘Sing to the Lord a New Song’
8 Home-Grown or Imported? An Examination of Bernard Jackson’s Wisdom-Laws
8a Bernard S. Jackson, ‘Response to Roger Tomes: “Home-Grown or Imported?”’
9 The Education of Ben Sira

Part 2: Reception History
10 The Reception of Jeremiah in Rabbinic Literature and in the Targum
11 Ambrose: Apology for David
12 The Character of David: A Forgotten Episode in Biblical Interpretation
13 The Appeal to the Spirit of the Maccabees in the Poetry of Emma Lazarus

Part 3: History of Biblical Study
14 ‘We are hardly prepared for this style of teaching yet’: Samuel Davidson and Lancashire Independent College
15 ‘Learning a New Technique’: The Reception of Biblical Criticism in the Nonconformist Colleges
16 ‘Scripture its Own Commentator’: A History of English Cross-Reference Bibles
17 The Babel und Bibel Controversy Revisited

Part 4: Nonconformist History
18 The Social Conscience of Dissent c. 1841