Accodring to Wikipedia, “The oldest known source, but questionable explanation for the expression “baker’s dozen” dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes, instituted during the reign of Henry III (1216–1272), called the Assize of Bread and Ale. Bakers who were found to have shortchanged customers could be subject to severe punishment. To guard against the punishment of losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12, to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was insurance against “short measure”, on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt, or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original legal dozen.”
Lest I be accused of missing any significant work, here is a list on my top thirteen modern OT Theologies:
13.Jacob, Edmund. Theology of the Old Testament. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1958.
12.Brueggemann, Walter. Old Testament Theology: An Introduction. The Library of Biblical Theology. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008.
11.Clements, Ronald E. Old Testament Theology: A Fresh Approach. Marshalls Theological Library. London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1978.
10.Vriezen, TH. C. An Outline of Old Testament Theology. Newton, MA: Charles T. Branford Company, 1960.
9.Zimmerli, Walther. Old Testament Theology in Outline. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1978.
8.Gerstenberger, Erhard S. Theologies in the Old Testament. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.
5.Waltke, Bruce. An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach. Zondervan, 2007.
6.Rendtorff, Rolf. The Canonical Hebrew Bible: A Theology of the Old Testament. Leiden: Deo Publishing, 2005.
5.Terrien, Samuel. The Elusive Presence: Toward a New Biblical Theology. San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1978.
4.Eichrodt, Walter. Theology of the Old Testament. 2 vols. Westminster John Knox Press, 1967.
3.von Rad, Gerhard. Old Testament Theology, 2 vols. Westminster John Knox Press , 2001.
2.Goldingay, John. Old Testament Theology, 3 vols. IVP Academic, 2003-2009.
1.Childs, Brevard. Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments: Theological Reflection on the Christian Bible. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1993.
I know, that this list will not satisfy all. So if you are tempted to grab your theological axe…What would you would add? Any of these you would remove? Why?
John Goldingay is David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Seminary. He seeks to combine his superb scholarly training in Old Testament with genuine Christian faith. Among things written by him that should be on everyone’s shelf are 3 volumes of Old Testament Theology and Models for Interpretation o Scripture. He has also begun a series Old Testament for Everyone that is a counterpart to NT Wright’s New Testament for Everyone.
As much as one might appreciate and at times strongly disagree with his approach, there is also another side to this brilliant scholar. It is his tender faith. Reading his book Walk On that chronicles his life journey and struggle with his wife’s severe disability brought tears to my eyes and gave me a new appreciation for his scholarship as well. As someone who seeks to stand on the border of academy and believing community, I find Goldingay as superb example to follow. Here is a short video that gives a very personal side of John Goldingay.
[NB. Some might find his language offensive. Yet I hope that we find him more convicting than scandalizing]