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Here is a convenient introduction to the unique aspects of interpreting the one-third of the Hebrew Bible that is in poetic form. Numerous are the occasions when a failure to distinguish poetry from prose in the Old Testament has resulted in flawed interpretation. Robert Lowth's Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews (1753, 1787), marked a turning point of major proportions by focusing on the importance of parallelism of lines. But new studies of the past decade now require significant adjustments to Lowth's analyses. Interpreting Hebrew Poetry offers an authoritative introduction to this discussion of parallelism, meter and rhythm, and poetic style. It also provides by way of example a poetic analysis of Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 5:1-7, and Psalm 1.
Hebrew for Biblical Interpretation introduces elementary Hebrew with a focus on the skills needed for informed biblical exegesis. This innovative textbook, which combines the features of a traditional grammar with the insights of language education from applied linguistics, offers clear and concise discussions of grammatical concepts as well as guided exercises in reading and interpreting the Hebrew Bible. All words occurring more than 100 times in the Hebrew Bible are taught in descending order of frequency, and attention to grammatical clues reduces the need for rote memorization of paradigms. The integration of grammar and exegesis motivates students and makes this textbook well suited to seminary and undergraduate courses in which scholarly biblical exegesis is the primary goal of language acquisition.
In this extensive and eclectic reconsideration of classical Hebrew poetics, O'Connor evaluates the assumptions that have guided scholars for more than two hundred years. The result is "a great leap forward in the analysis and interpretation of early Hebrew poetry." (David Noel Freedman)
This volume explores the language and poetic structure of the seven non-Masoretic poems preserved in the Dead Sea Scroll labeled 11Q5 or 11QPsa. It presents fresh readings of the Hebrew poems, which were last studied intensively almost fifty years ago, stressing their structural and conceptual coherence and incorporating insights gained from the scholarship of recent decades. Each chapter addresses a single poem and describes its poetic structure, including its use of parallelism and allusion to scripture, as well as specific problems related to the poem's interpretation. In addition, the book considers these poems in relation to what they reveal about the development of Hebrew poetry in the late Second Temple period.
2009 Christianity Today Merit Award winner! 2009 ECPA Gold Medallion (Bible Reference & Study) The Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry carry themselves differently from those of the Pentateuch, the histories or the prophets. The divine voice does not peal from Sinai, there are no narratives carried along by prophetic interpretation nor are oracles declaimed by a prophet. Here Scripture often speaks in the words of human response to God and God's world. The hymns, laments and thanksgivings of Israel, the dirge of Lamentations, the questionings of Qohelet, the love poetry of the Song of Songs, the bold drama of Job and the proverbial wisdom of Israel all offer their textures to this great body of biblical literature. Then too there are the finely crafted stories of Ruth and Esther that narrate the silent providence of God in the course of Israelite and Jewish lives. This third Old Testament volume in InterVarsity Press's celebrated "Black Dictionary" series offers nearly 150 articles covering all the important aspects of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther. Over ninety contributors, many of them experts in this literature, have contributed to the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. This volume maintains the quality of scholarship that students, scholars and pastors have come to expect from this series. Coverage of each biblical book includes an introduction to the book itself as well as separate articles on its ancient Near Eastern background and its history of interpretation. Additional articles amply explore the literary dimensions of Hebrew poetry and prose, including acrostic, ellipsis, inclusio, intertextuality, parallelism and rhyme. And there are well-rounded treatments of Israelite wisdom and wisdom literature, including wisdom poems, sources and theology. In addition, a wide range of interpretive approaches is canvassed in articles on hermeneutics, feminist interpretation, form criticism, historical criticism, rhetorical criticism and social-scientific approaches. The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings is sure to command shelf space within arm's reach of any student, teacher or preacher working in this portion of biblical literature. Tremper Longman III and Peter E. Enns edit this collection of 148 articles by 90 contributors on Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther.
This book provides the first complete guide for students to the present state of biblical studies. The twenty-one specially commissioned chapters are written by established scholars from North America and Britain, and represent both traditional and contemporary points of view. The chapters in Part One cover all the methods and approaches currently practised in the academic study of the Bible, while those in Part Two examine the major categories of books in the Bible from the perspective of recent scholarship - e.g. historical books of the Old Testament, Gospels, prophetic literature. Major issues raised are: the relation of modern 'critical' study of the Bible to 'pre-critical' and 'post-critical' approaches; the place of history in the study of the Bible; feminist, liberationist and new historicist concerns; the relation of Christian and Jewish scholarship; and recent interest in the Bible as literature.
The Psalms possess an enduring fascination for us. For frankness, directness, intensity and intimacy, they are unrivaled in all of Scripture. Somehow the psalmists seem to have anticipated all our awe, desires and frustrations. No wonder Christians have used the Psalms in worship from the earliest times to the present. Yet the Psalms cause us difficulties when we look at them closely. Their poetry is unfamiliar in form. Many images they use are foreign to us today. And the psalmists sometimes express thoughts that seem unworthy of Scripture. Tremper Longman gives us the kind of help we need to overcome the distance between the psalmists' world and ours. He explains the various kinds of psalms, the way they were used in Hebrew worship and their relationship to the rest of the Old Testament. Then he looks at how Christians can appropriate their message and insights today. Turning to the art of Old Testament poetry, he explains the use of parallelism and imagery. Step-by-step suggestions for interpretating the psalms on our own are followed by exercises for further study and reflection. Also included is a helpful guide to commentaries on the Psalms. Here is a book for all those who long to better understand these mirrors of the soul.

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