I was reading a bit from Collins’ Introduction to the Hebrew Bible today. And, I realized once again how much I prefer to read short books over long ones. Collins is about 700 pages. Don’t get me wrong, I like long books as reference works. And, I’ll read them from time to time. But, I don’t really like to read them straight through from start to finish. I’d rather read three shorter books that equal or even surpass a bit the length of one long book.
So, I got to thinking about how I might work out teaching an introductory class on the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible (if ever asked to do so) without using a long textbook. I’m pretty sure I would use Ska for the Pentateuch (300 pages) and maybe Blenkinsopp for the Prophets (291 pages). But, I don’t what I would use for the Writings. Are there any good introductions to the Writings? I haven’t really found any, but it is also hard to search for “the Writings” because a lot of unrelated stuff pops up.
I realize this way you might have the problem of different methodologies, etc. But then again, you might also get the benefit of having students read more from specialists in particular areas. And, it might help students who are like me and prefer to sense of accomplishment from finishing books. Sounds better to say I read three books as opposed to one!