Otto Kaiser, Author . Hendrickson $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56563-693-4

While critical studies of the 66 canonical books of the Bible are plentiful, fewer works have been written to explore the Old Testament Apocryphal books from a scholarly, critical standpoint. As part of the liturgical reading cycle for many religious bodies, these books have a place in the life of the church and thus merit attention. The author, a noted biblical scholar who taught for over three decades at the University of Marburg, offers both laypersons and scholars an accessible introduction to this neglected field of study. Chapters follow a common format. A "thesis" is suggested, directing the reader to a general understanding of the content, and intent, of an apocryphal book. The thesis, or in some cases theses, are followed by "issues," addressing matters peculiar to that book. "Comments" follow "issues" as the author explores relevant questions. A bibliography closes each chapter; at times shorter bibliographies appear within the body of a chapter. While a knowledge of the Apocrypha is not necessary for a useful reading of this book, a basic knowledge of critical methods will assist the non-scholar in understanding and appreciating the author's arguments. Most of the complication comes in the footnotes, where both comment and critical apparatus are offered in abundance. The text itself, however, can be easily understood by the general reader. This volume is a welcome addition to the growing library of scholarly, yet accessible, studies of the Old Testament Apocryphal books. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Paperback - 125 pages - 978-0-8010-4673-5
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