Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 October 2006
Francis Watson has written a stunning book, bringing to us a remarkable confluence of wissenschaftlich control and interpretive imagination, a combination vigorously to be applauded. There are stretches of genuine exegesis in which ancient texts are read patiently and faithfully, whether drawn from Genesis or Ben Sira or 2 Corinthians. These carefully crafted exegetical probes are accompanied by theological analysis in which Watson listens with an imaginative ear, exploring, for example, the relations between scriptural interpretation and issues of divine and human agency. And, as though these two factors were not enough, far from being a shrinking violet, Watson has drawn from the exegesis and the imaginative listening an extraordinarily bold thesis, to which I will return. As detail is not here sacrificed to synthesis, so synthesis is not a substitute for analytical detail.