Brevard Childs

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Brevard Childs
Brevard Childs.jpg
Born 2 September 1923[1]
Columbia, South Carolina
Died June 23, 2007[1]
New Haven, Connecticut[2]
Spouse(s) Ann Childs
Theological work
Notable ideas Canonical criticism

Brevard Springs Childs (September 2, 1923 – June 23, 2007) was an American Old Testament scholar and Professor of Old Testament at Yale University from 1958 until 1999 (and Sterling Professor after 1992), who is considered one of the most influential biblical scholars of the 20th century.

Thought[edit]

Childs is particularly noted for pioneering canonical criticism, a way of interpreting the Bible that focuses on the text of the biblical canon itself as a finished product. In fact, Childs disliked the term, believing his work to represent an entirely new departure, replacing the entire historical-critical method.[3] Childs set out his canonical approach in his Biblical Theology in Crisis (1970) and applied it in Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (1979). This latter book has been described as "one of the most discussed books of the 1980s".[4]

Childs' influences included Karl Barth[2] and Hermann Gunkel.[5]

Christopher Seitz argues that

Professor Childs single-handedly effected major and sustained changes in the conceptual framework of modern biblical studies through appeal to the canonical presentation of biblical books and the theological implications of attending to their final form.[6]

Seitz has also noted that "there is a small cottage industry in evaluating the contribution of Brevard Childs."[7]

Education[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • Myth and Reality in the Old Testament (1960)
  • Biblical Theology in Crisis (1970)
  • The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary (1974)
  • Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (1979)
  • Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context (1985)
  • The New Testament as Canon: An Introduction (1985)
  • Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments: Theological Reflection on the Christian Bible (1992)
  • Isaiah: A Commentary (2001)
  • The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture (2004)
  • "The Church's Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus" (2008)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Daniel R. Driver, Biography of Childs
  2. ^ a b Obituary at Yale University
  3. ^ Brevard S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (SCM, 1979), 82–83.
  4. ^ Tremper Longman, Old Testament Commentary Survey, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999), 19.
  5. ^ Daniel R. Driver, Brevard Childs, Biblical Theologian: For the Church's One Bible. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010.
  6. ^ Obituary at Society of Biblical Literature
  7. ^ Christopher R. Seitz, "The Canonical Approach and Theological Interpretation" in Craig Bartholomew et al (eds.), Canon and Biblical Interpretation, p. 61.