Entertaining Faith: Reading Short Stories in the Bible

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Entertaining Faith: Reading Short Stories in the Bible

by Lowell K. Handy

Chalice, St. Louis, 2000. 157 pp. $16.99. ISBN 0.8272-- 08154.

HANDY OFFERS A FRESH approach to the genre of short story in the Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha. He asserts that telling stories should be recovered by the church as an entertaining way to convey religious realities that catches the attention and intellect of the community (p. 142).

Chapter one introduces the genre of short story, tracing scholarly developments in the field. Chapter two presents common character types and plot devices used in this genre and their meaning in the biblical context. In chapters three through ten, the author provides an analysis of various short stories found in the Hebrew Bible or the Apocrypha. Handy begins each chapter by discussing theories concerning the origin of the stories themselves and the historical events they reference. Then the central characters, the structure of the story and literary devices in the story are presented. Finally, each chapter concludes with three topics: the theology of the author of the story, the theology of those who included the book in the canon, and observations on the interpretation of the story through the Jewish and Christian traditions. …