Lift Thine Eyes to the Beauty
Berit Olam: 2 Samuel
King David ranks among the most intriguing persons in the Hebrew Bible. The Second Book of Samuel tells the story of David's kingship-his public successes and his private foibles. The narrator's rehearsal of this story, as questioning as it is vivid, glimpses the secrets of David's heart. In this commentary, Craig E. Morrison focuses on the aesthetics of the "art of the telling": how does the narrator succeed in breathing life into his portrait of David? How does he draw the reader into his story? This commentary is intended to accompany the reader's encounter with this ancient masterpiece so that one might cheer with David as he dances before the ark of God and weep with him as he grieves the death of his rebel son Absalom. Morrison's careful reading of 2 Samuel brings the reader face-to-face with David, whose multifaceted character eludes facile labels
Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry: Genesis
The God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. In Genesis, David Cotter, helps readers discern a structure in the book whereby the least and the weakest are the object of God’s saving help. Genesis begins with an introduction to the methodology that is used throughout the book. The introductory essay deals with the theory of Hebrew narrative and the challenges posed to biblical exegesis by contemporary literary theory. The stories of the Creation, the Flood, and of Abraham’s generations were stories of salvation for the underdogs and the outcasts. With expert literary and narrative scholarship, Cotter analyzes the Hebrew narrative in a commentary unlike any other.
Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry: Psalms
In Psalms, Schaefer focuses on the structure of each psalm, its dramatic plot, the modes of discourse, the rhetorical features, and the effective use of imagery to portray theology and the spiritual life. Schaefer portrays each poem’s inner dynamic to acquaint readers with the poet and the community which prayed and preserved the composition, allowing the believer to transpose it in the contemporary situation.
Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry: 1 Samuel
First Samuel is a national autobiography of the Hebrew people. David Jobling reads 1 Samuel as a story that is complete in itself, although it is part of a much larger narrative. He examines it as a historical document in a double sense: firstly, as a document originating from ancient Israel, and, secondly, as a telling of the past. Organizing the text through the three interlocking themes of class, race, and gender, Jobling asks how this historical—and canonical—story relates to a modern world in which these themes continue to be of crucial importance. While drawing on the resources of biblical “narratology,” Jobling deviates from mainstream methodology. He adopts a “critical narratology” informed by such cultural practices as feminism and psychoanalysis. He follows a structuralist tradition which finds meaning more in the text’s large-scale mythic patterns than in close reading of particular passages, and seeks methods specific to 1 Samuel rather than ones applicable to biblica...