Reading Women's Stories: Female Characters in the Hebrew Bible

Reading Women's Stories: Female Characters in the Hebrew Bible

Reading Women's Stories: Female Characters in the Hebrew Bible

Reading Women's Stories: Female Characters in the Hebrew Bible

Synopsis

"Literary criticism has developed as one of the most important and evocative methods for interpreting biblical narratives. John Petersen delves deeply into three stories of women in the Hebrew Bible (Hannah, Deborah, and Tamar) and explores issues of reading character, plot, and point of view. By addressing these concepts in depth and with subtlety, he is able to show how human experience is depicted using a variety of structuring, focusing, and interpretive devices. Beyond analyzing these narratives, he teaches readers how to get more out of every biblical story they read." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

People love stories, and the Hebrew Bible offers some of the most moving and best-known stories in our Western tradition. Ancient Israelite writers developed storytelling into a rich art and passed on a legacy of literary masterpieces that have enriched the lives of hearers and readers for generations. Many have celebrated the prowess of Jesus and other early rabbis as tellers of stories and parables. Yet these rabbis were the inheritors of a long tradition of bards, priests, and teachers who had passed on Israelite stories orally for centuries. Building on this heritage, Hebrew storytellers developed the craft of the finely honed tale and bequeathed a sophisticated tradition to their successors working with the written word. Their narratives are some of the finest examples of the art in all Western literature, not only in the array of characters, themes, and situations they portray but also in the craft of the recounting itself. This book seeks both to explore their communicative strategies and techniques and to appreciate the artistry of these old Hebrew stories.

The sheer enjoyment of reading a series of well-crafted stories has led countless readers to a fascination with biblical characters. While poring over biblical passages for religious, historical, or . . .

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