Poetry in the Hebrew Bible: Selected Studies from Vetus Testamentum

Poetry in the Hebrew Bible: Selected Studies from Vetus Testamentum

Poetry in the Hebrew Bible: Selected Studies from Vetus Testamentum

Poetry in the Hebrew Bible: Selected Studies from Vetus Testamentum

Synopsis

An appreciation of the form and artistry of texts is essential to the understanding of their content, and nowhere is this more evident than in the case of biblical poetry. But poetic form is also worthy of appreciation in its own right, and as the studies in this collection show, Hebrew poetry can be seen as a monument to the literary-artistic achievement of the ancients. Great strides have been made in the investigation of the form and structure of the biblical texts, and no new study of the Hebrew Bible can afford to ignore the fruitful work that has been done in this field. This useful collection presents in a handy format an ample harvest of research by many of the world's leading Hebrew Bible scholars who have published their work in the pages of Vetus Testamentum in recent decades. It provides a fascinating reflection of the continuing new discoveries of the richness of the biblical text, which informs the lively present-day study of the Hebrew Bible as world literature.

Excerpt

Poetry in the Hebrew Bible is the second collection of articles from the pages of Vetus Testamentum to appear in the new series of Brill's Readers in Biblical Studies, the first of which was Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible. The general series, which began successfully with a number of selections from Novum Testamentum, is designed to provide convenient and useful selections in a handy format, affordable for classroom use and by individual students of the Bible.

The present volume presents a broad range of scholarly insights into biblical poetry published in the last third of the twentieth century. In this period Vetus Testamentum has published scores of articles and short notes on the poetic texts of the Bible. The majority of these have been exegetical readings of individual texts. The present collection contains some of these (e.g. the studies of individual psalms, and of the poetic sections of other books), where they demonstrate approaches to poetic biblical texts that have more general implications for the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. The primary focus of the selection, however, is on the features of the Bible as poetic literature—on the study of the form and structure of biblical poetry in its own right and in its literary context.

The essays collected here represent the insights of some of the world's leading Hebrew scholars of the past three decades, and are presented, appropriately enough, in a sort of inclusio formed by the dual essays of Kosmala and Watson.

The hope is that this collection will prove genuinely useful to all students of biblical poetry.

In accordance with the ethos of Vetus Testamentum, no editorial comment is made on the articles published here, except, by implication, with regard to their suitability for republication in this form. The article by J. Lundbom, “Poetic Structure and Prophetic Rhetoric in Hosea” (VT 29 “1979” 300ff.) is not included here because of its reprinting in the volume on Hebrew Prophecy in this series. The articles are arranged in chronological order of appearance in the journal.

Thanks are due to Arie van der Kooij, current editor of Vetus Testamentum, for his friendly advice in connection with the selection.

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