Forschungen zum Alten Testament II/46. Mohr Siebeck, 2010. Repr. Baker Academic, 2012.
This work advanced through several stages, reflected in four recensions.
- It started as a PhD thesis under a different title, defended in October 2008. The final submission is superseded but available from the University of St Andrews research repository.
- The Mohr Siebeck edition took a new title, in part to reflect the new outline that developed in response to concerns raised by examiners and readers.
- Baker Academic commissioned a translation of all the German cited in the book, and published it in an expanded North American edition.
- A recapitulation of one of the work’s main findings, drawn from chapter one of the book, appears in SBL’s 2013 Gedenkschrift. You can download it here.
Excerpts from Reviews
Daniel Driver has written a significant and subtle book which does justice to the complex and much-misunderstood oeuvre of one of the twentieth century’s greatest proponents of biblical theology…. I would judge that Driver’s book is entirely successful on its own terms. The questions with which Childs wrestled are important ones, and Driver wishes us to wrestle with them, which has necessitated clearing out a huge amount of problematic secondary literature, striving diligently to capture a whole host of key conceptualities in careful language, and tracing once again the interwoven range of theological questions which occupied both biblical scholars (von Rad, Gunkel…) and systematicians (Barth, Frei …) through much of the last century. Life is always easier when one collapses complex tensions one way or the other. Childs resisted such a path, and Driver calls us to stay with his work long enough to feel the force of the tensions for ourselves. One thus finishes the book eager for the sequel: where next for the biblical theologian? —Richard S. Briggs, Ecclesiology 9.1 (2013): 122–125
Driver offers rich and suggestive probes of the way in which Childs continued to think about midrash as a category for the text of the New Testament, engaged Jewish theological traditions (reflected especially in his Exodus commentary), urged the possibility of serious Jewish-Christian dialogue, and eventually voiced his understanding of the “mystery of Israel.” Driver’s judgments are sound, his learning is impressive, and his attentiveness to nuance in Childs’ work is reassuring. —Walter Brueggemann, Interpretation 67.1 (2013): 79
Driver has done a remarkable amount of research, examining Childs’s work, including early student papers, lectures long buried in library audio archives, and personal letters. What Driver uncovers through this meticulous investigation is a general conceptual coherence among the various elements of Childs’s work and a good deal of continuity throughout Childs’s career, hopefully ensuring that future work will evaluate Childs on his own terms rather than in caricature. —Nathan Chambers, Bulletin for Biblical Research 23.2 (2013): 261–263
This detailed critique by D explores the historical course of the debate, provides a comprehensive bibliography of the most relevant sources, including important reviews, and traces as closely as possible the points that have aroused sharpest contention. The result is a book that is indispensable in showing why, since World War II, historical and theological approaches to the Bible have found it difficult to establish a common ground. It is part biographical and part methodological, looking beyond the work of one scholar to examine major questions about the use and interpretation of Protestantism’s iconic book. It will certainly remain an essential work of reference for a while to come. —Ronald E. Clements, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 35.5 (2011): 17
This brief overview of Driver’s book cannot begin to do full justice to the richness of its subject matter. For this reason I strongly recommended that readers interested in these topics pursue the book for themselves. —Don Collett, International Journal of Systematic Theology 16.4 (2014): 470–473
Sammantaget är Brevard Childs, Biblical Theologian en lärorik bok och rekommenderad läsning för var och en som vill få en inblick, inte bara i en produktiv och ibland provokativ exegets bibelteologiska brottoing under närmare femtio år, utan i hur en forskare genom konsttuktivt nytänkande och ifiägasättande av hävdvunna åsikter försöker finna nya vägar att bearbeta gamla frägor. —LarsOlov Eriksson, Svensk exegetisk årsbok 78 (2013): 212–214
In sum, this book gives a very detailed and extensive presentation of Brevard Childs’s life work. Driver demonstrates clearly Childs’s deep rootedness in German-speaking historical-critical exegesis as well as in the Barthian stream of the Reformed tradition. He clearly lays out Childs’s lifelong struggle for a whole-biblical theology that on the one hand takes historical-critical work seriously but on the other hand also can make a distinctive and prescriptive contribution to a decidedly Christian theology. As a biblical theologian, Childs is very hard to pin down, thanks to his detailed processing of the positions with which he interacted: his lifelong critique of the history-of-religions school, the unfortunate (because based on misunderstanding) criticism of James Barr (and others), and Childs’s delimitation of his own approach from apparently similar but actually opposed narrative-critical and intertextual Bible-reading strategies that run afoul of sound literary-critical method. Overall, this stimulating book presents Child’s impressive and influential work to exegetes and theologians as an inspiration and encouragement to consciously differentiate and actively represent their Christian theological positions. —Aaron Schart, Theologische Literaturzeitung 137.1 (2012): 36–38
This is an ambitious, multifaceted, and demanding study—much like Childs’s own writings over the decades…. All with an interest in biblical interpretation that does justice to both critical and confessional realities are in Driver’s debt for the most thorough breakdown to date of Childs’s remarkable achievement in historical, exegetical, theological, and spiritual reading of Scripture. —Robert W. Yarbrough, Bulletin for Biblical Research 23.3 (2013): 450–451
Books by Childs
- Myth and Reality in the Old Testament. SBT 27. London: SCM, 1960. 2nd ed. London: SCM, 1962.
- Memory and Tradition in Israel. SBT 37. London: SCM, 1962.
- Isaiah and the Assyrian Crisis. SBT 2/3. London: SCM, 1967.
- Biblical Theology in Crisis. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1970.
- The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary. Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1974.
- Old Testament Books for Pastor and Teacher. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977.
- Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979.
- The New Testament as Canon: An Introduction. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984.
- Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985.
- Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments: Theological Reflection on the Christian Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992. Translated into German by Manfred and Christiane Oeming, with a preface by Christoph Dohmen, as Die Theologie der einen Bibel. 2 vols. Freiburg: Herder, 1994–1996.
- Biblical Theology: A Proposal. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002.
- Isaiah: A Commentary. Old Testament LibraryLouisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.
- The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.
- The Church’s Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.