Other Articles in
Vol. 5 No. 1 / Apr 2019

Editorial: Dr. Edward J. Young (1907–1968) by ALLAN M. HARMAN
The Canon of the Old Testament by WALTER C. KAISER JR.
Motifs and Old Testament Theology by BRYAN D. ESTELLE
On Finding the Theological Message of Old Testament Books: A Plea for Paying Attention to the Redemptive-Historical Context by GERT KWAKKEL
Too Many to Chose from? The English Translation Controversy by LANE KEISTER
The Torah of Eden and the Conception of Ishmael: Genesis 3:6 and 16:3–4 by RON BERGEY
The Paradigmatic Role of Genesis 3 for Reading Biblical Narrative about Desire by CEPHAS T. A. TUSHIMA
How the Dwelling Becomes a Tent of Meeting: A Theology of Leviticus by L. MICHAEL MORALES
The Immanuel Prophecy at the Crossroads of Exegesis, Hermeneutics, and Bible Translation by STEFAN FELBER
Divine Forgiveness in the Book of Jeremiah by H. G. L. (ERIC) PEELS
Reading Jonah Backwards: Reconsidering a Prophet’s Repentance by STEPHEN COLEMAN
Preaching Christ from Proverbs by IAIN DUGUID
Gerhard von Rad (1901–1971): A Reluctant Modernist’s Approach to Wisdom Literature by CHARLES KELLY TELFER
Interview with Bruce Waltke by Peter A. Lillback
BOOK REVIEW: Influential Old Testament Theologies by ANDREW T. ABERNETHY
Book Review: Richard Belcher Jr. Finding Favour in the Sight of God: A Theology of Wisdom Literature by JEONG KOO JEON
Book Review: Henri Blocher. Original Sin: Illuminating the Riddle? by PIERRE-SOVANN CHAUNY
Gregory A. Boyd. Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence by PAUL WELLS
Brent A. Strawn. The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment by RICHARD P. BELCHER JR.
Pierre Courthial. A New Day of Small Beginnings by JEAN-MARC BERTHOUD

GERHARD VON RAD (1901–1971): A RELUCTANT MODERNIST’S APPROACH TO WISDOM LITERATURE

by CHARLES KELLY TELFER in Vol. 5 No. 1 / Apr 2019



Abstract
Gerhard von Rad defended the importance of the Old Testament for Christians in the face of Nazi pressure. Reacting to the sterility of a Religionsgeschichte approach, he was a part of the Biblical Theology Movement and sought to set forth the theological material of the Old Testament in roughly historical order as a summary of Israelite faith. Attempting to set forth the “saving acts of God,” his equivocal use of the category “history” failed to bridge his modernist assumptions that reality is unbreachably divided into the phenomenal and the noumenal. Though a number of his assumptions about wisdom literature have since been discredited, von Rad strove to approach Old Testament wisdom on its own terms, with poetic sensitivity, respect, and deep appreciation.



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