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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" is an innovative textbook that combines the features of a traditional grammar with exercises in reading and interpreting the Hebrew Bible. It is designed to introduce seminary and university students to elementary Hebrew, focusing on biblical exegesis.
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.
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. 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.
A cursory glance through the Psalter reveals numerous allusions to events in Israel's literary history. While a range of literary and oral sources were obviously available to psalmists, the relationships between these sources and the psalmists' final work are more obscure. Concerning these relationships, numerous questions remain unanswered: • How strictly did the psalmists replicate their sources? • What kinds of alterations did they make (additions, omissions, etc.)? • Did they alter the meaning of their sources in their own compositions? Departing from the more classical approaches to researching the psalms--engaging in the determination of Sitz im Leben and Gattungen--this intertextual study addresses the aforementioned issues by focusing on a group of psalms associated with Israel's exodus tradition (105, 106, 135, and 136). Through a detailed comparison of lexical correspondences between the psalms and other biblical texts, together with a relative dating of each psalm, the study identifies literary sources employed by the psalmists. It additionally includes a close reading of each psalm to establish the unity and meaning of each composition. Emanuel then analyzes and categorizes lexical variances between each psalm and its sources, providing potential explanations for alterations found between the two, and revealing how the psalmists reinterpreted their biblical sources.
Although Many Conservative scholars have had reservations about biblical criticism since its rise a century ago, Carl Armerding contends that critical rationalism need not be antithetical to belief in a divinely inspired Word of God. Indeed, says Armerding, the evangelical scholar - mediating the traditional conservative view and the rational critical view of Scripture - is able to use all the tools of historical, philological, and literary study, while still retaining biblical categories of revelation, inspiration, and history.

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