Annotated Old Testament Bibliography – 2009
An annotated bibliography of Old Testament works by the Old Testament Faculty of Denver Seminary.
M. Daniel Carroll R., Hélène Dallaire, and Richard S. Hess
Latest revision on August 20, 2009
For the most part, this list considers English language studies and exegetical commentaries that have appeared within the last quarter of a century. However, there is much of value that predates this period. For one of the most useful and wide ranging bibliographies of earlier works, see:
Childs, Brevard S. Old Testament Books for Pastors and Teachers. Westminster, 1977.
Our hope is that the following list will continue to prove useful by regular updating. An older form of this annotated bibliography can be found in R. S. Hess and G. J. Wenham, eds., Make the Old Testament Live: From Curriculum to Classroom. Eerdmans, 1998, pp. 191-218. The volume itself is a unique collection of essays on teaching the Old Testament from a variety of perspectives. A special note of appreciation is due to Robert Hubbard and the late Robert Alden, whose earlier bibliography formed the basis for what follows.
The following categories are found below:
Histories of Israel
Translations of Collections of Ancient Near Eastern Texts
Ancient Near Eastern Histories
Old Testament Canon/Textual Criticism
Sociological and Anthropological Studies
Feminist, Minority, and Third World Studies
Commentaries by Bible book (following the order of the Protestant canon)
|AOTC||Apollos Old Testament Commentary|
|BBRS||Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplement|
|BST||The Bible Speaks Today|
|CBC||Cambridge Bible Commentary|
|DSB||Daily Study Bible|
|FOTL||Forms of Old Testament Literature|
|HCOT||Historical Critical Commentary of the Old Testament|
|ICC||The International Critical Commentary|
|JPS||Jewish Publication Society Torah Commentary; and Jewish Publication Society Commentary|
|NAC||New American Commentary|
|NCB||New Century Bible|
|NIBC||New International Biblical Commentary|
|NICOT||New International Commentary on the Old Testament|
|NIVAC||The NIV Application Commentary|
|OBT||Overtures to Biblical Theology|
|OTL||The Old Testament Library|
|SBTS||Sources for Biblical and Theological Study|
|TOTC||Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries|
|WBC||Word Biblical Commentary|
|WeBC||Westminster Bible Companion|
|WEC||Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary|
*Exemplary in its category
Archer, Jr., Gleason A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. Revised edition. Moody, 1994. A conservative, occasionally polemical, always detailed and informative introduction.
*Arnold, Bill T. and Bryan E. Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey. Baker, 1999. Evangelical undergraduate survey with excellent photos, maps, charts, sidebars, and a CD with lots more photos. Helpful outlines of books and reviews of the most important ideas and term.
Birch, Bruce C., Walter Brueggemann, Terence E. Fretheim, and David L. Petersen. A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament. Second edition. Abingdon, 2005. An important survey of literary, theological, and ethical dimensions of the Old Testament.
Broyles, Craig C. ed. Interpreting the Old Testament. A Guide for Exegesis. Baker, 2001. Evangelical scholars discuss methods of Old Testament exegesis and criticism for interpreting the text.
Childs, B.S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Fortress, 1979. A canonical approach to the text and books.
Collins, John J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Fortress, 2004. A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Fortress, 2007. An up to date and readable survey of Old Testament (and apocryphal) scholarship from the standpoint of modern criticism.
Dillard, Raymond and Tremper Longman III. An Introduction to the Old Testament. Zondervan, 1994. A helpful up-to-date Evangelical contribution. Longman finished the project after the death of Dillard.
Eissfeldt, O. The Old Testament: An Introduction. trans. P.R. Ackroyd. Harper and Row, 1965. The classic liberal Protestant introduction.
Harrison, R. K. An Old Testament Introduction. Eerdmans, 1979. Comprehensive Evangelical discussion of introductory issues for its time.
LaSor, W.S., D.A. Hubbard, and F.W. Bush. Old Testament Survey. Eerdmans, 1982. Second edition, 1996. A reasonably up-to-date introduction from a balanced Evangelical perspective.
Soggin, J. Alberto. Introduction to the Old Testament. OTL. Westminster, 1989. The current standard in place of Eissfeldt; weak on literary approaches.
In addition to the commentary series noted in the Commentary section.
The Church’s Bible. Eerdmans. A series on books of the Bible that assembles significant quotations from Patristic and later Christian commentators passage by passage through the book being studied. Isaiah (Wilken) and Song of Songs (Norris) have appeared thus far.
Dictionary of the Old Testament. InterVarsity Press. Four large volumes provide dictionaries exploring the major topics of the four divisions of the Pentateuch, with contributions from a variety of (mainly) Evangelical scholars: Pentateuch, Historical Books, and Wisdom, Poetry & Writing. The volume on the Prophets has not yet appeared.
Exploring the Old Testament. InterVarsity Press. Four separate volumes provide an introduction to the Pentateuch (Wenham), the Historical Books (Satterthwaite and McConville), and Psalms and Wisdom Literature (Lucas), and the Prophets (McConville). Written from a British Evangelical perspective.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Revised edition. Zondervan. These volumes revise the older Expositor’s Bible Commentary on the NIV, with important, concise exegesis for the pastor and teacher.
Forms of Old Testament Literature. Eerdmans. Analyses of books of the Old Testament in terms of their structure and the forms of literature found in them.
Guides to Biblical Scholarship: Old Testament Series. Fortress. The best set of paperback surveys of methods of Biblical interpretation.
Moody Press: Four volumes by H. Wolf (Pentateuch), D. Howard (Historical Books), and C. H. Bullock (Poetic Books and Prophetic Books).
Old Testament Guides. Sheffield Academic Press. These are the most useful for current discussions of the major interpretive issues and approaches on each book of the Old Testament.
The Oxford Bible. Oxford University. These volumes deal with collections of books (e.g., the prophets by J. F. A. Sawyer) and genres (e.g., poetry by S. E. Gillingham).
Septuagint Commentary Series. Brill. The first English attempt to produce a literary commentary on the Septuagint text, with special focus on Codex Vaticanus. Volumes on Genesis, Joshua, and some of the apocryphal books have appeared.
Sources for Biblical and Theological Study. Eisenbrauns. Collections of the most important articles in the particular field, whether specific biblical texts (e.g., R. Hess and D. Tsumura on Genesis 1-11) or on methods (e.g., C. E. Carter and C. L. Meyers on social sciences approaches).
Anderson, Bernard W. Contours of Old Testament Theology. Fortress, 1999. Themes of the holiness of God, covenants, torah/wisdom, and prophecy/apocalyptic are interwoven in this synthesis by an influential scholar.
*Barr, James. The Concept of Biblical Theology: An Old Testament Perspective. SCM, 1999. The most important survey of Old Testament theologies at the end of the twentieth century, if not always one that everyone will agree with.
Brueggemann, Walter. Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy. Fortress, 1997. A provocative approach that structures the discussion around the metaphor and imagery of the courtroom.
Childs, Brevard S. Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context. Fortress, 1986. Classic on canon with a sensitivity to the New Testament.
*Eichrodt, W. Old Testament Theology. 2 vols. OTL. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961-67. Emphasis on the covenant. Along with von Rad, the giant in the field in the twentieth century.
Goldingay, John. Old Testament Theology. Volume One. Israel’s Gospel. InterVarsity Press, 2003; Volume Two. Israel’s Faith. InterVarsity Press, 2006. Evangelical and readable survey of the theological message of the narrative books of the Old Testament. Volume two considers major theological themes related to God, Israel and the nations.
Hasel, Gerhard Old Testament Theology: Basic Issues in the Current Debate. Eerdmans, 1995. Fourth edition. Detailed survey of authors and issues.
House, Paul R. Old Testament Theology. IVP, 1998. A work that outlines God’s nature and acts in each book of the Old Testament. A narrative approach designed for college and seminary students.
Kaiser, W.C., Jr. Toward an Old Testament Theology. Zondervan, 1978. Evangelical. Emphasis on promise themes.
Martens, Elmer A. ed. Old Testament Theology. Bibliographies No. 13. Baker, 1997. A helpful survey of more than five hundred of the most important works, listed by subject.
Ollenburger, Ben C., Elmer A. Marten, and Gerhard F. Hasel, eds. The Flowering of Old Testament Theology. Sources for Biblical and Theological Study. Eisenbrauns, 1992. A collection of classic articles. Revised and updated in 2004 by Ben C. Ollenburger.
Preuss, H. D. Old Testament Theology. 2 vols. OTL. Westminster/John Knox, 1995-6. Focus on Yahweh.
Sailhammer, John H. Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach. Zondervan, 1995. Evangelical. Structured study on how to do Old Testament theology.
Smith, Ralph L. Old Testament Theology: Its History, Method, and Message. Broadman & Holman, 1993. Evangelical. A helpful source for summaries of debates and positions on a wide breadth of topics.
Terrien, S. The Elusive Presence: Toward a New Biblical Theology. Harper and Row, 1978. Focus on the wisdom literature.
*Vanhoozer, Kevin J. ed. Theological Interpretation of the Old Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey. Baker, 2008. An Evangelical survey of each book of the Old Testament, briefly considering the history of intepretation, the book’s role in the canon, and its major theological themes.
Von Rad, G. Old Testament Theology. 2 vols. Harper and Row, 1962-65. Salvation history approach that tries to explain how Israelites did theology. Along with Eichrodt, the giant in the field in the twentieth century.
Waltke, Bruce K. An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach. Zondervan, 2007. A great conservative Evangelical journey through the Old Testament.
Zimmerli, Walther. Old Testament Theology in Outline. John Knox, 1978. Concise discussions with bibliographies by a capable critical scholar of an earlier generation. Yaheh is the central theme.
Zuck, Roy B., ed. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Moody, 1991. Evangelical. Dallas seminary faculty contribute their perspectives on each major section of the Old Testament.
Hess, R. S., and G. Wenham, eds. Zion, City of Our God. Eerdmans, 1999. History, religion, and theology of Jerusalem as revealed in the variety of Old Testament literature.
Hess, R. S., and M. Daniel Carroll R., eds. Israel’s Messiah in the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003. Current understanding of the role of the Messiah in the Bible and its context.
*Hess, Richard S., and M. Daniel Carroll R., eds. Family in the Bible: Exploring Customs, Culture, and Context. Baker, 2003. Unique examination of the family in each of the major sections of the Bible.
Klingbeil, Gerald A. Bridging the Gap: Ritual and Ritual Texts in the Bible. BBRS 1. Eisenbrauns, 2007. Thorough Evangelical introduction to Old Testament rituals with application to Christian faith and practice.
Satterthwaite, Philip E., Richard S. Hess, and Gordon J. Wenham, eds. The Lord’s Anointed: Interpretation of Old Testament Messianic Texts. Baker and Paternoster, 1995. A current assessment of the exegesis of key Old Testament texts.
Ahlström, Gösta W. The History of Ancient Palestine from the Palaeolithic Period to Alexander’s Conquest. With a contribution by G. O. Rollefson. Edited by D. Edelman. JSOT Supplement Series 146. Sheffield Academic Press, 1993. The most up-to-date of the major histories of ancient Israel though affected by the author’s unconventional opinions and perspectives.
Bright, J. A History of Israel. 3rd ed. Westminster, 1981. Standard of the last generation, heir of the Albright school.
Dever, William G. What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel. Eerdmans, 2001. Polemical but useful survey of biblical historiography and postmodern interpretations.
Liverani, Mario. Israel’s History and the History of Israel. Trans. C. Peri and P. R. Davies. Equinox, 2005. An elegant example of the method that reads the historical texts of the Bible to uncover ideological bias.
Mathews, Victor H. A Brief History of Ancient Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002. Moderately critical review of major issues regarding the study of the history of Isael.
Merrill, Eugene. Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel. Baker, 1987. Evangelical and conservative.
Miller, J. Maxwell and John H. Hayes. A History of Ancient
Provan, Iain, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III. A Biblical History of Israel. Westminster John Knox, 2003. An Evangelical historiography.
*Rainey, Anson F. and R. Steven Notley. The Sacred Bridge. Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. Carta, 2006. See under Atlases. A more user friendly abridgement has appeared, Carta’s New Century Handbook and Atlas of the Bible. Carta, 2007.
*Shanks, Hershel, ed. Ancient Israel. From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple. Revised edition. Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999. Popular writing with each chapter written by one or two experts in the field.
Soggin, J. Alberto, A History of Ancient Israel: From Beginnings to the Bar Kochba Revolt, A.D. 135. Westminster, 1985. This is a classic liberal interpretation of Israel’s history that, though now out of date, represents an important synthesis of Continental scholarship.
Special Studies in History
*In the first decade of the twenty-first century a series of symposia by Evangelical (and other) Old Testament historians explored the current state of the field with special concern to answer recent challenges to the authenticity of biblical, historical claims. Some of the most important of these papers have appeared in the following four volumes:
Block, Daniel I., Bryan H. Cribb, and Gregory S. Smith eds.
Hess, Richard S., Gerald A. Klingbeil, and Paul J. Ray Jr. eds. Critical Issues in Early Israelite History. Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplement 3. Eisenbrauns, 2008;
Hoffmeier, James, K. and Alan Millard, eds., The Future of Biblical Archaeology: Reassessing Methodologies and Assumptions. Eerdmans, 2004;
Long, V. Philips, David W. Baker, and Gordon J. Wenham, eds. Windows into Old Testament History: Evidence, Argument, and the Crisis of “Biblical
Dever, William G. What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us About the Reality of Ancient Israel. Eerdmans, 2001. A polemical but important critique of minimalism and postmodern historiography.
Long, V. Philips. The Art of Biblical History. Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation vol. 5. Zondervan, 1994. The balance of historicity, literary art, and theology in the history writing of the Old Testament.
Long, V. Philips. Israel’s Past in Present Research: Essays on Ancient Israelite Historiography. SBTS 7. Eisenbrauns, 1999. A variety of experts contribute essays on the writing and interpretation of historical data relating to the major Old Testament periods and genres.
Millard, Alan R., James K. Hoffmeier, and David W. Baker, eds. Faith, Tradition, and History: Old Testament Historiography in Its Near Eastern Context. Eisenbrauns, 1994. Important articles on the methods and interpretation of various Old Testament passages in the light of ancient Near Eastern comparisons.
Römer, Thomas. The So-Called Deuteronomistic History: A Sociological, Historical and Literary Introduction. T & T Clark, 2005. A useful and readable survey of this critical approach to the primary historical books of the Bible, from a position sympathetic to the theory.
Thiele, E. R. A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings. 2nd ed., Zondervan, 1983. Remains the most convincing interpretation of the chronology of the monarchy.
Aharoni, Y. The Archaeology of the Land of Israel. Trans. A.F. Rainey. Westminster, 1982. A classic work.
Ben-Tor, Amnon (ed). The Archaology of Ancient Israel. trans. R. Greenberg. Yale, 1992.
Dever, William G. Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003. Important archaeological arguments against the historicity of the biblical exodus and in favor of a largely indigenous people in Canaan who bacame Israel. Israel can be ethnically identified in the twelfth highlands of Palestine.
Hoerth, Alfred Archaeology and the Old Testament. Baker, 1998. An important evangelical guide to the subject.
*Hoffmeier, James K. and Alan Millard editors. The Future of Biblical Archaeology: Reassessing Methodologies and Assumptions. Eerdmans, 2004. Nineteen essays by specialists cover the field of biblical archaeology and bring fresh insights to interpreting the Old Testament for the 21st century.
*King, Philip J. and Lawrence E. Stager. Life in Biblical Israel. Library of Ancient Israel. Westminster John Knox, 2001. With color photos and drawings, this is the best discussion of the realia of life in biblical times.
*Kitchen, Kenneth A. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 2003. Evangelical application of archaeology and especially ancient Near Eastern texts to the Bible.
Levy, Thomas E. (ed.). The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. Facts on File, 1995. Although it covers a larger period than that of the Biblical time, it is the first systematic presentation of social archaeology in Israel as written by leading archaeologists.
Mazar, Amihai. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000-586 B.C.E. Doubleday, 1992. A more recent work by an experienced Israeli archaeologist.
Meyers, Eric M. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. Five vols. Oxford University, 1997.
Stern, Ephraim (ed). The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land. Simon and Schuster, 1995. Essential reference guide for sites.
Stern, Ephraim. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible. Volume II. The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732-332 B.C.E.). Doubleday, 2001. The most comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the later Old Testament period.
In a rapidly changing field the following studies and periodicals can be useful guides:
*Chavalas, Mark W., and K. Lawson Younger, Jr., eds. Mesopotamia and the Bible. Comparative Explorations. Eerdmans, 2002. A critical assessment of major ancient archives and cultures and their impact on the Old Testament.
Dever, William G. Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Eerdmans, 2003. Important archaeological arguments against the historicity of the biblical exodus and in favor of a largely indigenous people in Canaan who bacame Israel. Israel can be ethnically identified in the twelfth highlands of Palestine.
Watson, W. G. E., and N. Wyatt. Handbook of Ugaritic Studies. Brill, 1999. Ugarit specialists discuss the discoveries, culture, religion, and history of the city and its texts.
Near Eastern Archaeology (formerly Biblical Archaeologist)
Biblical Archaeology Review
Aharoni, Yohanan, Michael Avi-Yonah, Anson F. Rainey, and Zeev Safrai, eds. The Carta Bible Atlas. Macmillan, 2002. A standard atlas that provides individual maps for many significant Bible events.
Beitzel, Barry J. Biblica the Bible Atlas: A Social and Historical Journey Through the Lands of the Bible. Global Book Publishing, 2006. A beautifully presented atlas with helpful surveys through the historical and geographical texts of the Bible. Evangelical.
Bimson, J. and J. Kane. New Bible Atlas. Tyndale, 1985. Excellent combination of price, color maps and illustrations, and archaeological commentary. Evangelical.
Brisco, Thomas V. Holman Bible Atlas. Broadman & Holman, 1998. Up-to-date images, maps, and photos with running commentary. Evangelical.
Cleave, Richard. The Holy Land: A Unique Perspective. Photography and Satellite Cartography. Lion, 1993. Stunning aerial and satellite photography.
Pritchard, J.B., ed. Harper’s Atlas of the Bible. Harper and Row, 1987. Best on indices and gazetteer in relation to the maps.
*Rainey, Anson F. and R. Steven Notley. The Sacred Bridge. Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. Carta, 2006. Synthesizes both a comprehensive history of the Levant and a geographical study of the region, with the focus on the land of Israel during the biblical period. A more user friendly abridgement has appeared, Carta’s New Century Handbook and Atlas of the Bible. Carta, 2007.
Rasmussen, C.G. Zondervan NIV Atlas of the Bible. Zondervan, 1989. Stronger on photos and maps of Israel itself than of neighboring lands.
Rogerson, J. The Atlas of the Bible. Facts on File, 1985. Visually dazzling color photographs as well as discussion of geography and archaeology.
Useful teaching tools
Abingdon Bible Map Transparencies. Abingdon. This is a wonderful set of full color maps for both Old and New Testament events and places. One of the best for overhead projection.
Smith, George Adam. The Historical Geography of the Holy Land. 25th edition. Hodder & Stoughton, 1936; Harper & Row, 1966. This is an 1894 classic with vivid word pictures of the Holy Land.
Survey of Israel Maps. Survey of Israel, continuously updated. Hebrew and English. This is a set of scale 1:100000 maps that cover the entire area occupied by modern Israel. Includes all significant political and topographic features with many sites of antiquity noted.
Beyerlin, W. (ed.). Near Eastern Religious Texts Relating to the Old Testament. OTL. Westminster, 1978.
Chavalas, Mark W. ed. The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation. Various specialists provide introduction and commentary as well as translation of key texts.
*Hallo, William W. and K. Lawson Younger, Jr. (eds.). The Context of Scripture. Volume 1. Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World. Brill, 1997. Volume 2. Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World. Brill, 2000. Volume 3. Archival Documents from the Biblical World. Brill, 2002. This is the new Pritchard (see next entry) as a current compendium of ancient Near Eastern texts in English. There is an abundance of footnotes and cross references to biblical texts.
Nissinen, Martti, with contributions by C. L. Seow and Robert K. Ritner. Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. Society of Biblical Literature Writing from the Ancient World. Society of Biblical Literature, 2003. A compendium of prophecy texts from the ancient Near East.
Pritchard, J.B. (ed.). Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd. ed. Princeton University Press, 1969. Two volumes of a paperback epitome of this larger volume have also appeared.
Sparks, Kenton L. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature. Hendrickson, 2005. A superb introduction and commentary on the most important ancient Near Eastern literature related to the Bible; with full and complete bibliographies.
Wyatt, N. Religious Texts from Ugarit: The Words of Ilimilku and His Colleagues. Sheffield, 1998. Contemporary translation of religious texts that provide the essential background for understanding “Canaanite” religion.
Briant, Pierre. From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2002. At more than 1,000 pages this corrected English translation represents the best synthesis on the Persian Empire.
Chavalas, Mark W., and K. Lawson Younger, Jr., eds. Mesopotamia and the Bible: Comparative Explorations. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002. A collection of approaches to different archives of Syrian and Mesopotamian texst and their relation to the Bible.
Gurney, O. R. The Hittites. Revised edition. Penguin, 1990. A classic of a culture with important rele