Old Testament Narrative: A Guide to Interpretation

Westminster John Knox Press
Free sample

The Old Testament's stories are intriguing, mesmerizing, and provocative not only due to their ancient literary craft but also because of their ongoing relevance. In this volume, well suited to college and seminary use, Jerome Walsh explains how to interpret these narrative passages of Scripture based on standard literary elements such as plot, characterization, setting, pace, point of view, and patterns of repetition. What makes this book an exceptional resource is an appendix that offers practical examples of narrative interpretation- something no other book on Old Testament interpretation offers.
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About the author

Jerome T. Walsh was Professor of Old Testament at the University of Botswana and the University of Dallas. He is the author of Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrative.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Westminster John Knox Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2010
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781611640540
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Biblical Studies / Exegesis & Hermeneutics
Religion / Biblical Studies / Old Testament
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The pages of the Hebrew Bible are filled with stories - short and long, funny and sad, histories, fables, and morality tales. The ancient narrators used a variety of stylistic devices to structure, to connect, and to separate their tales - and thus to establish contexts within which meaning comes to light. What are these devices, and how do they guide our reading and our understanding of the text? Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrativeexplores some of the answers and shows scriptural interpretation can be a matter of style."

Part one of Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrativeexamines a wide variety of symmetrical patterns biblical Hebrew narrative uses to organize its units and subunits, and the interpretive dynamics those patterns can imply. Part two addresses the question of boundaries between literary units. Part three examines devices that biblical Hebrew narrative uses to connect consecutive literary units and subunits.

Chapters in Part One: Structures of Organizationare "Reverse Symmetry," "Forward Symmetry," "Alternating Repetition," "Partial Symmetry," "Multiple Symmetry," "Asymmetry." Chapters in Part Two: Structures of Disjunctionare "Narrative Components," "Repetition," and "Narrative Sequence." Chapters in Part Three: Structures of Conjunctionare "Threads," "Links: Examples," "Linked Threads: Examples," "Hinges: Examples," and "Double-Duty Hinges: Examples."

Jerome T. Walsh, PhD, is a professor of theology and religious studies at the University of Botswana. He is the author of 1 Kingsin the Berit Olam (The Everlasting Covenant) Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetryseries for which he is also an associate editor.

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The narratives of Solomon and Jeroboam, of Elijah and Ahab, have fascinated readers for millennia. Even apart from questions of historical authenticity, they are gripping stories of richly drawn characters caught up in the complex tale of God's dealings with Israel. This study explores the narrative world created by 1 Kings' ancient Israelite author: the people who inhabit it, the lives they live, the deeds they do, and the face of God who is revealed in their stories. An introduction explains the significance of 1 Kings as a historical narrative. Originally intended as a literal history, after centuries of writing and rewriting it is now as much a literary work as an historical one: The views of those who formed it can be discerned and studied. Walsh also explains how the rich traditions of Hebrew prose narrative?and the Hebrew language itself?affect our reading of 1 Kings.?Moving away from dry exposition, [Walsh] displays the storyteller's flair and thus draws the reader into the intricate interplay of events and characters. In so doing, he releases the narrative's power to work on its reader.? Ashland Theological Journal?These new commentaries should be very helpful for both translation officers and translators. Walsh pays close attention to the structure of the text but also comments on individual words and phrases, especially when showing connections between different verses in the Hebrew text which may not be clear in most translations. . . . There is no other series?in English at least?which gives such careful attention to literary critical matters in reading the text.? The Bible Translator". . . a good beginning for a series that promises to treat the entire Hebrew Bible from a narrative-critical perspective." America". . . thorough and even exciting. The scholarship and the research are impressive." The Priest
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