This book provides non-expert readers with insights and perspectives on a variety of theological themes from the Hebrew Bible. D. N. Premnath compiles scholarly insights on themes such as God, creation and redemption, community, land, law and covenant, royal tradition and prophetic dissent, praise and lament, wisdom, sexuality, violence, and the future. Examples of socio-historical perspectives set the broader historical and cultural contexts for each of the topics. By juxtaposing the socio-historical, and thematic discussions, he places the biblical notions in their historical development and societal manifestations. The discussions also combine broader thematic emphases with attention to specific biblical texts while keeping the technical details to a minimum. Through theological engagement, Premnath draws implications from biblical ideas for contemporary faith and practice. He also addresses some tough questions of biblical interpretation and offers suggestions for dealing with difficult biblical texts.
D. N. Premnath retired in 2017 after four decades of theological education and administration in India and the United States.
Chapter One Understanding of God
Chapter Two Creation and Redemption
Chapter Three Community
Chapter Four Land
Chapter Five Law and Covenant
Chapter Six Royal Ideology and Prophetic Dissent
Chapter Seven Understanding Praise and Lament
Chapter Eight Wisdom: What is it?
Chapter Nine Sexuality and the Hebrew Bible
Chapter Ten Violence in the Hebrew Bible
Chapter Eleven Future
Premnath makes a refreshing and exciting addition to the literature on Biblical theology. It is not a dreary and lengthy treatise on ‘the theology of the Hebrew Bible,’ but rather a stimulating, dynamic, faithful, and sometimes provocative reflection on significant themes as they present themselves within the Hebrew Bible. This volume is engaging and offers valuable and rich insights with implications for contemporary times. It is essential reading for those interested in Biblical theology and socio-historical approaches to Scripture and an excellent textbook for a thematic introduction to the Hebrew Bible.
With each chapter intended to stand alone, Devadasan Premnath pursues historical investigations of the meaning of major themes of the Hebrew Bible while also correlating those meanings with central questions in the history of religious and theological thought. Premnath's socio-historical approach carefully contextualizes the biblical texts, but this work, in turn, can surprisingly allow them to "speak" beyond their time. Forged from Premnath's many years of teaching Bible in the U.S. and India, this incisive book should prove extremely useful in a variety of religious-study classrooms, whether undergraduate, seminary, or graduate.
This luxurious guide provides an unprecedented survey of major theological themes in the Hebrew Bible. Imaginatively and ingeniously deploying the social-historical method, Premnath has shown how it can interrogate the biblical texts with power and vigor and can uncover new and unexpected readings. This ambitious and much-needed book is full of information and insights that highly valuable and relevant.