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Publication Date: 21 Nov 2019
Series: New Studies in Biblical Theology
Publisher: Apollos
Words: 89000
Page Count: 264
Author: David G Firth
ISBN-13: 9781783595075, 9781783595082

Including the Stranger

Foreigners In The Former Prophets
By David G Firth
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Summary
The Old Testament, particularly the Former Prophets, has frequently been regarded as having a negative attitude towards foreigners. This has meant that these texts are often employed by those opposed to the Christian faith to attack the Bible; and such views can be echoed by Christians. While the stories of David and Goliath are cherished, other texts are seen to involve 'ethnic cleansing' or 'massacre' and are avoided.

David Firth's contention is that this approach emerges from an established interpretation of the text, but not the text itself. He argues that the Former Prophets subvert the exclusivist approach in order to show that the people of God are not defined by ethnicity but rather by their willingness to commit themselves to the purposes of Yahweh. God's purposes are always wider than Israel alone, and Israel must therefore understand themselves as a people who welcome and include the foreigner. As well as addressing contemporary concerns about the ongoing significance of the OT for Christians and showing how opponents of Christianity have misunderstood the Bible in their desire to attack it, this reading of the Former Prophets has significant ethical implications for Christians today as we wrestle with the issues of migration and what it means to be the people of God.
About the Author
Tutor in Old Testament, Trinity College, Bristol. Author of 1 & 2 Samuel (AOTC), The Message of Esther (BST), The Message of Joshua (BST). Co-editor of Interpreting the Psalms, Interpreting Deuteronomy, Interpreting Isaiah, Words and the Word, Presence, Power and Promise, Exploring Old Testament Wisdom (all Apollos). TOTC Series Editor.
Press Reviews

David Firth carefully traces out what can be learned of the ways in which foreigners were viewed in the Former Prophets. Along the way he draws attention to surprises: a foreign prostitute like Rahab becomes an Israelite, and an Israelite like Achan is cut off from the Israelites. Tracing the trajectories, Dr Firth opens up biblical texts that are not as widely known as some passages, and drops tantalizing hints about the ultimate canonical move to the notion of God's people drawn from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation.

- D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA

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