the raven utters no cry …The connection to Isaiah 11 was as obvious to Bauer as it is to most readers familiar with the Old Testament. This, says, Bauer, is emblematic of the "opening dilemma" that Enns presents in his book. As Bauer states the dilemma:
the lion kills not,
the wolf snatches not the lamb,
unknown is the kid-devouring wild dog."
The uniqueness of the Old Testament as a piece of literature has been seriously dented by the discovery of more and more ancient texts that predate (and anticipate) biblical forms. Creation story, flood story, prophecy, proverb: all of these were in use in Mesopotamia long before the first biblical book was penned.How indeed? And moreover, the question is not only can we, but should we claim that the Old Testament writings are "divine communication[s] from God to man?" Is that, after all, the meaning of "revelation"? That the writings so labeled are "divine communication[s] from God to man?" And if so, what exactly does this mean--is it a useful characterization or, perhaps, a misleading characterization of the nature of these writings?
So how can we claim that the Old Testament—and it alone from all the texts of that pre-Christian age—is divine communication from God to man?
For the Christian there is, in fact, no particular reason to regard the Old Testament writings as "divine communication[s] from God to man"--that is, there would be no reason, but for the obvious relationship of Jesus to the world of the Old Testament. Even so, it is the fact of Jesus' resurrection that causes the Christian to ponder that relationship and to consider it to be part of a scheme that in some way fulfills God's will.
But in what sense is the Old Testament a communication from God to man, and is such a belief--at least one that is framed in such terms--necessary for Christian faith?