Walther Eichrodt (1890-1978) taught at University of Basel (Switzerland) from 1921-1966 where Karl Barth also taught. Previously, he had received his education at Griefswald, Heidelberg and Erlangen where, like Gerhard von Rad, he studied under Otto Procksch. He was a close colleague to Adolf Schlatter with whom he often led Bible conferences.
In 1933, Eichrodt broke with many of his recent teachers and peers by publishing Theology of the Old Testament (now in its 5th edition, 1960), affirming that the Hebrew Scriptures were not a substandard religious document, an idea that was in conflict with the prevailing German cultural mindset of the time. Throughout his life, although he remained a proponent of his contemporary understanding of an evolutionary origin to the Pentateuch as presented in the Documentary Hypothesis, nevertheless, he retained a very reverent view of the biblical text.
For Eichrodt, covenant (Hebrew: בְּרִית/bᵉriyṯ; German: bund) is the central theme of the OT. He defined covenant as God’s self-revelation in choosing people and how they should live (see ch. 2, "The Covenant Relationship" in vol. 1 for much greater detail than my summary here). Eichrodt suggests that covenant involves personal obligation of two parties, but the peculiar thing about biblical covenants was that God obligated himself. God’s covenant was mediated to Israel through charismatic leaders of their religious system. Covenant was so central to later events, that Eichrodt believed Moses and the events at Sinai to be historical, unlike some of his contemporaries at the time. According to him, Israel existed for the covenant, not the reverse. However, Eichrodt never quite reveals his view of exactly what happened at Sinai.
In choosing covenant as a central theme, Gerald Bray has suggested that Eichrodt was able “to uphold the doctrine of divine revelation, and to explain how God had been at work in the history of Israel” (Biblical Interpretation Past & Present, 1996, p. 386). Elaborating on the meaning of covenant, Eichrodt's first explanation focuses on how the covenant delivered through Moses “emphasizes one basic element in the whole Israelite experience of God, namely the factual nature of divine revelation.” Eichrodt explains that “God’s disclosure of himself…[is understood]…as he breaks in on the life of his people in his dealings with them and molds them according to his will that he grants them knowledge of his being.”
For Eichrodt, textual development began with oral tradition. Behind these oral traditions were specific historical events. Then there was a pre-textual reflection on the events which led to the production of the written sources of the Documentary Hypothesis: JEPD. Eichrodt points out that words held more power in ancient times than in contemporary times. He writes of “the cosmic power of God.” For him, the word of God is linked to the Spirit of God.
As stated earlier, Eichrodt held to the central theme of covenant in his theology. Rather than using a book-by-book approach, Eichrodt uses systematic categories to discuss the theology of the OT. Having a central theme gives him a number of benefits. First, it offers an organizing structure to Theology of the Old Testament since everything in the OT must therefore—somehow—be related to covenant. This also allows him to relate very divergent texts to each other because they had the single common element of the covenant connecting them. Second, it stresses the unity of the OT, which could be seen as a work containing multiple sources focused upon the same theme rather than a work of divergent literature that only had nationality as a common element.
Of course, one could ask how to fit the ever-present issue of Wisdom literature to the central-theme approach. How does the Song of Solomon relate specifically to covenant? If Eichrodt focuses on one major theme, how well can he treat divergent themes in Scripture? To be fair, E. A. Martens writes that “Eichrodt did not ignore the diversity others saw in the Old Testament. However, he started with the notion of theological unity. Other scholars since Eichrodt’s time have been more enamored with theological diversity in the Old Testament.”
Regardless of the one's opinion of a one-theme approach for the Old Testament, Eichrodt brought fresh understanding and insight into OT scholarship that arguably can still be wrestled with today. His two volumes on OT theology display not only his ability to communicate well, sometimes even poetically, but also they display his sincere devotion to God.
[Note: this blog post has been adapted from a review of Eichrodt's Old Testament Theology that I wrote a few years ago.]
Don't miss this week's "Welcome to the Library" sale, featuring Eichrodt's Theology of the Old Testament and all other volumes in the Old Testament Library and New Testament Library from Westminster John Knox Press.
Up to 60% Off on Old Testament & New Testament Libraries
Welcome to the Library! We often speak of “the Accordance Library” or “your personal Accordance Library” when referring to the ever-growing selection of titles that we offer for Accordance Bible Software. This week, with the release of a 68-volume bundle in the Old Testament and New Testament Library series from Westminster/John Knox Press, it feels like we’re adding an entire library to the Accordance Library! You will not want to miss out on the 68 volumes of commentaries and topical studies spanning the entire Bible. You can buy titles individually or in sections, but if you make your purchase for the entire series all at once, you can save an incredible 60% off the regular discounted price. Welcome to the Library—check out the savings!
Special sale prices on the products featured below cannot be combined with other discounts. The special offer on all products will end on Oct. 23, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT.
NEW IN ACCORDANCE!
The Entire WJK 68-Volume Library Bundle!
The New Testament/Old Testament Library Commentary series and Companion Sets offer authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the Scriptures, providing fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text.
- 31-Volume Old Testament Commentary Library
- 15-Volume New Testament Commentary Library
- 4-Volume New Testament Companion Set
- 9-Volume Old Testament Companion Set
- 9-Volume Classic Old Testament Alternate Commentary Set
68-Volume WJK Library Bundle
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Regular Price $1,726
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Old Testament/New Testament Library Commentary Set (46 Volumes)
The commentary series provide fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text.
- Old Testament Commentary Library (31 Volumes) (Covers the entire Old Testament)
- New Testament Commentary Library (15 Volumes) (Covers the entire New Testament with the exception of Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and James)
OT / NT Library Commentary Set (46 Volumes)
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Old Testament Commentary Library (31 Volumes)
Covers the entire Old Testament.
List Price $1,167
New Testament Commentary Library (15 Volumes)
Covers the entire New Testament with the exception of Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and James.
List Price $633
9-Volume Classic Old Testament Alternate Commentary Set
This module contains 9 classic volumes (volumes that have been superseded by newer works within the Old Testament Library Commentary series).
Set includes: Deuteronomy (1966), Judges (1981), 1 & 2 Samuel (1965), Daniel (1965), Isaiah 1-12 (1983), Isaiah 13-39 (1974), Isaiah 40-66 (1969), Book of Amos (1969)
List Price $369
The New Testament Library includes new works such as J. Louis Martyn’s historical and theological analysis of John’s Gospel. But this series also “resurrected” significant 20th century works that had never been surpassed in their relevance but had gone out of print. These volumes cover subjects such as New Testament imagery relating to the church, issues relating to apostolic authority from a Pauline perspective, as well as Pauline theology and ethics. These volumes are available individually as well as in a 4-voume bundle.
- Theology and Ethics in Paul
- Paul and the Anatomy of Apostolic Authority
- Images of the Church in the New Testament
- History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel (Revised and Expanded)
New Testament Companion Set (4 Volumes)
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The Old Testament Companion volumes explore specific theological subjects, Jewish wisdom in the context of Hellenism, culture and thought during and after the Exile, and other historical surveys. These volumes are available individually as well as in a 9-volume bundle.
- Theology of the Old Testament (Vol. 1 & 2)
- Exile and Restoration
- Introduction to the Old Testament (Third Edition)
- A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period (Vol. 1 & 2)
- Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age
- Old Testament Theology (Vol. 1 & 2)
Old Testament Companion Set (9 Volumes)
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40% Off Coupon on Individual Volumes
Individual volumes are available for purchase as well! If you are not ready to purchase a set, use the coupon code OTL-NTL-40 to get 40% off all individual volumes from OTL/NTL Commentary or Companion volumes. See this article for a full volume listing.
Two decades later, Bart D. Ehrman’s book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament continues to create debate and dialogue. Ehrman’s later works have even brought textual criticism, a field once reserved to academia, to the lay level. In response to Ehrman’s work, Daniel B. Wallace has edited Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence--released today for the Accordance Bible Software Library.
Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament contains essays by six authors, all dealing with textual criticism and specifically the claim that scribes significantly corrupted the text of the New Testament. Wallace includes an essay of his own, an expansion of a presentation he made in a debate with Bart Ehrman and others in 2008 at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The other five essays were originally presented the same year at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in the same year.
This volume is also the first installment in what is to be an ongoing series, Text and Canon of the New Testament. This series will present volumes that address questions of whether or not the original text of the New Testament can be recovered based on manuscript evidence as well as questions concerning the 27 New Testament documents in relation to other writings of the early church. Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament contains the following essays that either address Ehrman’s claims or discuss related text-critical issues:
"Lost in Transmission: How Badly Did the Scribes Corrupt the New Testament Text?" by Daniel B. Wallace. Points of agreement are found with Ehrman on some issues, but in this examination of some of the major passages covered in The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Wallace demonstrates why he believes so-called “orthodox corruptions” are not “as pervasive or as significant” as Ehrman presents.
"The Least Orthodox Reading Is to Be Preferred: A New Canon for New Testament Textual Criticism?" by Philip M. Miller. One conclusion that could be made from Ehrman’s claims about the New Testament is that “the least orthodox reading” is probably to be preferred when looking at variants, resulting in foundational new criteria for textual criticism. Miller offers evidence as to why this conclusion should be challenged.
"The Legacy of a Letter: Sabellianism or Scribal Blunder in John 1.1c?" by Matthew P. Morgan. Looking specifically at two later variants of καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος in John 1:1, Morgan examines the implications of a Sabellian understanding of God if the two manuscripts were correct.
"Patristic Theology and Recension in Matthew 24.36: An Evaluation of Ehrman’s Text-Critical Methodology" by Adam G. Messer. Some ancient manuscripts do not contain the phrase translated “nor the son” in Matt 24:36. Messer examines the evidence in patristic writings to see if this omission in some manuscripts was influenced by orthodox Church Fathers.
"Tracking Thomas: A Text-Critical Look at the Transmission of the Gospel of Thomas"by Tim Ricchuiti. In this only chapter dealing with a text not in the New Testament, Ricchuiti attempts to determine the earliest version of The Gospel of Thomas using the Coptic text and three Greek mss fragments.
"Jesus as θεός: A Textual Examination" by Brian J. Wright. Did any of the New Testament writers specifically claim that Jesus was God? Wright examines 17 passages in the NT to determine the answer.
In addition to the six main essays, Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence also includes indexes to Scripture, Ancient Sources, and Persons and Subjects. Page numbers are included for citation purposes.
Most readers will find a knowledge of Koine Greek necessary for following the arguments in this book. For anyone interested in New Testament textual criticism, and especially recent debates on the subject, these essays are a must-read addition to your Accordance Library. Add it to your mobile device for easy reading on the go or quick consultation!
Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament
Learn the fundamentals of searching Bibles and other books in your personal Accordance Bible Software Library. This previously recorded webinar, led by Abram Kielsmeier-Jones, will cover the following subjects: the Search Window, searching by verses, searching by words and phrases, creating and using Search Ranges, working with Key Numbers, and using stand-alone commands.
Beginning in 1965, the Golden Nuggets digest has been delivering sermon outlines to busy pastors for over half a century. These outlines began primarily as the work of “Brother” Maze Jackson, described on The Preacher’s Goldmine website as “a popular southern evangelist who preached with the fire and zeal of the old revival preachers of the past.” Maze Jackson was well known as an evangelist, pastor, and radio preacher.
Now available in one Accordance module, you can add all 59 available volumes, incredibly totaling 13,482 sermon outlines, to your personal Accordance Library. Use these outlines as idea starters for sermons, Bible study lessons, or simply for personal Bible study. There’s enough material here for a lifetime of study or an entire preaching career!
Included in this collection are 40 volumes of the popular Golden Nuggets series. Each of these volumes has two sections. The first section has around 200 complete sermon outlines, usually including five to seven main points and a few subpoints. These outlines aren’t simply “cheats” for a preacher since they will still have to be fleshed out, but they should also be altered and adapted as necessary for a pastor's audience. The second section of each Golden Nuggets volume contains over 100 condensed outlines, most of which have seven main points, but no subpoints.
In addition to 12,764 outlines in these 40 Golden Nuggets volumes, there are 19 additional topical volumes containing 718 additional sermon outlines. Here you’ll find 31 Christmas outlines (again, an entire career’s worth!), 24 sermons on backsliding, 156 sermons on prayer, over 100 revival sermons, 100 sermons on the Book of Revelation, and much more.
For the busy pastor, evangelist, or Bible teacher, these outlines by Maze Jackson and others should be considered as inspiration and idea starters. Take them with you on your mobile device so that you can work on your message at any opportune moment throughout the day. Again, with so much material, there’s more than enough for a lifetime of proclamation and study!
List Price $400
Regular Price $199
New to Accordance or just want to check it out? Join Abram Kielsmeier-Jones as he leads a one-hour introduction to the basics of the Accordance workspace, preferences, and basic searches.
I discovered Gerald L. Stevens’ New Testament Greek grammar in the mid-nineties before I had heard of Accordance Bible Software. I found Stevens’ Greek grammar to be a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the more intimidating grammars that were written by earlier generations. Those earlier grammars tended to be mostly text. They gave you the rules, inflection paradigms and vocabulary—all of which were to be memorized.
The personal computer changed education across every discipline, including biblical studies. Stevens’ grammar, much like the popular grammar by Bill Mounce that was first published roughly around the same time, was much more friendly than previous grammars. It included graphics, better tables, and frequency and statistical information derived from a computer program called Accordance.
By the late nineties, I was using Accordance myself, and I eventually added the second edition of Stevens’ grammar to my personal Accordance Library. The last time I taught New Testament Greek, I found the graphical richness of Stevens' grammar, along with the convenience of having it in Accordance, indispensable for examples that I could easily incorporate into classroom materials.
This week, we’re pleased to announce the release of Stevens Greek Workbook: A Companion to the Accordance Module. This title was released in print by Wipf & Stock earlier this year. As described by the publisher,
Stevens Greek Workbook complements the "Stevens Greek" module in the widely-acclaimed Accordance software program as a workbook of exercises keyed to this text. Features include illustrative charts and diagrams, English derivatives for assigned vocabulary aiding memory, a remedial English grammar review, an answer key, and eighteen beautiful images distributed throughout the workbook offering historical vignettes to illustrate the New Testament world and its language. Teaching New Testament Greek for almost thirty years, Stevens has traveled widely overseas to bring a rich knowledge of Greek, the New Testament world, and practical classroom pedagogy to the table to make this workbook an eminently useful tool for acquiring a working knowledge of New Testament Greek in its first-century context.
Accordance users have had access to Gerald Stevens’ New Testament Greek grammar for many years. It has been available separately as well as part of many of our language-centric Collections for quite a while. With the release of this additional volume, the grammar and workbook complement each other quite well, regardless of whether these texts will be used in the classroom, for personal study, or even as a means to review and brush up on one’s New Testament Greek. With both titles, user notes can be employed to write down answers to the exercises in the books. Students can even print or export these answers to turn in if the texts are being used in the classroom.
As I was looking over the new workbook, I felt that it was immediately familiar. It has the same inviting and friendly approach to New Testament Greek that Stevens’ grammar has always conveyed. Chapter numbers and titles in both volumes correspond to each other. If you have the grammar in your personal Accordance Library, you will definitely want to add the workbook as well.
Stevens Greek Workbook
Stevens New Testament Greek Grammar
If you live within driving distance of the Orlando area (or even if you just happen to be there on vacation!), come join us for a free Accordance Bible Training Seminar on Saturday, October 7. This event is hosted by Florida Bible College and will be held at Circle Community Church.
Check out the details below:
Saturday, October 7, 2017
9 AM to 6 PM
Florida Bible College
As always, the seminar is free, but we do ask you to register at [email protected] so that we'll have a headcount. For more information about other upcoming events, please see our Seminars & Shows page.
Over the past couple of summers, I've posted installments in a series of strategies students can use to fully engage their studies using Accordance Bible Software. The idea for this series originated with an Accordance presentation I gave at a seminary in which I was given an hour and a half to show students how Accordance could help them in their studies. Knowing that there was no way I could cover everything Accordance does in that short amount of time, I came up with the "Seven Strategies for Students" list as my outline.
Now that the posts are completed on the Accordance Blog, we will also be turning this series into a webinar, which means I'll have to get all this down to an hour-long presentation! The first Seven Strategies for Students webinar will take place on October 5. Feel free to sign up now.
Of course, students can use Accordance for a lot more than these seven topics, so I'm sure we will add to this list over time. For right now, though, here's the complete list of Seven Strategies linked in one place so that you don't have to search all over our website. I like to think of it as a "Complete Boxed Set"--at least for now!
In session 3 of this Accordance Bible Software Training Seminar, David Lang demonstrates the Search Window along with Greek and Hebrew searches. Filmed in San Antonio, Texas, on November 18, 2016.