IntroductionOrientationBibliographyAnderson, B. W. Understanding the Old Testament (Prentice-Hall, 1975); Archer, G. L. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (SOTI; Moody, 1964); Childs, B. S. The Book of Exodus (Westminster, 1974); idem. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (IOTS; Fortress, 1979); Craigie, P. C. The Old Testament. Its Background, Growth, and Content (Abingdon, 1986); Eichhorn, J. G. Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1780-83); Eissfeldt, O. The Old Testament. An Introduction (OTI; Oxford, 1965); Harrison, R. K. Introduction to the Old Testament (IOT; Eerdmans, 1969); Kaiser, O. Introduction to the Old Testament (Oxford, 1975); Kaufmann, Y. The Religion of Israel (University of Chicago Press, 1960); Laffey, A. L. An Introduction to the Old Testament: A Feminist Perspective (Fortress, 1988); LaSor, W. S., D. A. Hubbard, and F. W. Bush Old Testament Survey (OTS; Eerdmans, 1982); Rendtorff, R. The Old Testament: An Introduction (OTI; Fortress, 1986); Rivetus, A. Isagoge, seu introductio generalis, ad scripturam sacram veteris et novi testamenti (Leiden, 1627); Soggin, J. A. Introduction to the Old Testament (Westminster, 1976); Sternberg, M. The Poetics of Biblical Narrative (Indiana University Press, 1985); Young, E. J. An Introduction to the Old Testament (IOT; Eerdmans, 1949).The GenreThe genre of introduction has a well-established place in the field of Old Testament studies. It is one of the first volumes that serious students of the Bible encounter in their quest to understand the text. Its very title connotes the preliminary nature of its subject matter. As E. J. Young, the authors'' distinguished predecessor at Westminster Theological Seminary, commented, the word derives from the Latin introducere that means "to lead in" or "to introduce" (Young, IOT, 15).It is thus the purpose of this introduction, like all introductions, to acquaint the reader with information that is important to know in order to read the books of the Old Testament with understanding. In more contemporary terminology, our goal is to provide the student with resources needed to achieve reading competence (J. Culler, Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study of Literature [Cornell, 1975], 113-30).There have been many introductions written during the history of biblical studies. The history of the genre may be found elsewhere (Young, IOT, 15-37, and Childs, IOTS, 27-47); it will not be repeated here. Nevertheless, we will recount a few of the major transitional points to give the reader a feel for the evolution of the genre and to provide a framework for the present volume.The church fathers did not write what we would recognize today as introductions to the Old Testament, but they did deal with topics that would later occupy volumes that go by that name. Thus Jerome, Augustine, Origen, and others wrote concerning authorship, literary style, canonics, text, and theological issues. Their comments, however, may be found in scattered locations and not in any single volume.Childs and Young disagree over the date of the first true modern Old Testament introduction. The latter (IOT, 18) attributes it to Michael Walther (A.D. 1636) because of his distinction between matters of general and special introduction (see below). Childs, on the other hand, dates it later with J. G. Eichhorn, whose three-volume Einleitung was first published between 1780 and 1783. The difference reflects the theological disagreement between Young, who as a conservative acknowledges the work of Walther, who held a high view of inspiration, and Childs, a critic (though moderate), who requires the advent of the critical method to find the first "truly modern, historical critical Introduction" (IOTS, 35).In the twentieth century the introduction continued its evolution along the lines of the development of the discipline as a whole. Thus after Wellhausen introduced the documentary hypothesis, all succeeding introductions hadDillard, Raymond B. is the author of 'Introduction to the Old Testament', published 1994 under ISBN 9780310432500 and ISBN 0310432502.