We are proud to offer an exclusive excerpt from
John Nugent’s brand new book The Politics of Yahweh,
which will debut at SBL later this month.
Watch for our review before the end of year…
The Politics of Yahweh:
John Howard Yoder,
The Old Testament
and the People of God.
Paperback: Cascade Books, 2011.
Back Cover Description
John Howard Yoder is most famous for arguing in The Politics of Jesus that a sound reading of the New Testament demonstrates the abiding relevance of Jesus to social ethics. However, it is seldom acknowledged that Yoder makes essentially the same argument with regard to the Old Testament. Throughout his extensive writings, Yoder offers a provocative interpretation of the Old Testament that culminates in the way of Jesus and establishes the ethical, ecclesiological, and historiographical continuity of the entire biblical canon. In The Politics of Yahweh, presented as a prequel to The Politics of Jesus, John C. Nugent makes Yoder’s complete Old Testament interpretation accessible in one place for the first time.
Nugent does not view Yoder’s interpretation as flawless. Rather, Nugent moves beyond summary to offer honest critique and substantial revision. His constructive proposal, which stands in fundamental continuity with the work of Yoder, is likely to provoke much thought from theologians, biblical scholars, and ethicists. Even at points where readers disagree with some of his and Yoder’s interpretations, they will be challenged to explore new perspectives and rethink common assumptions concerning issues that arise from sustained reflection on the Old Testament.
Excerpt from Chapter Two
Yoder’s reading of the prediluvian narrative focuses primarily on three characters: Cain, Abel, and Lamech. His analysis of the events surrounding these men’s lives is crucial to his appropriation of the Old Testament for ethics, ecclesiology, and historiography because in them he further spells out the nature of the fallen human social order and the governing state in particular. Yoder’s starting point is Cain’s murder of Abel.