Professor Rendtorff discusses the Old Testament in a way which sets his book apart from all other similar works by examining OT development from the earliest material to the books in their final form firmly within the history of Israel. The first part is in fact a critical evaluation of the problems of writing a history of Israel in those periods for which there is biblical evidence; the second part considers the various sociological settings which gave rise to the different genres and literary forms which make up the canon.
The third part, which discusses the actual books of the canonical Old Testament, makes a close examination of the material of which they are composed and the history of their composition at the same time, though, under the impact of the arguments of Brevard Childs, it also considers the books in their final canonical form, and not only the books but the combinations of books as in the Pentateuch and the 'Deuteronomistic History Work'. Professor Rendtorf f's explanation of the relationship between these two complexes is particularly interesting.
There are full bibliographies; the book also has a novel system of cross-referencing within the margins which makes it particularly easy to use.