Scholarly study of Samuel continues to wrestle with how we interpret this pivotal text. Even such basic matters as the question of what kind of literature it is remain unresolved while older questions such as the nature of its text and sources are debated anew in the light of material from Qumran and of current approaches to Hebrew narrative. Recognizing the importance of questions such as these, David Firth explores and introduces fresh ways of reading Samuel as a unified and yet complex text, which displays high levels both of literary artistry and of theological commitment.Although some stories in the books of Samuel are well known, and in the case of David and Goliath even proverbial, much of the content of these books is strange to modern readers. It is a story about a woman wanting a child, for example, that relates the beginnings of monarchy within Israel. Even the question of the monarchy is problematic, for we are introduced to not one royal family but two-those of Saul and David. David is ultimately shown to be the king chosen by God, yet by the end of the book he is only just managing to hold on to the kingdom as it is nearly torn from him by rivalries within his family. These arresting stories are perplexing, for Samuel's writers seldom tell us how to read and interpret them. Firth presents these complex and fascinating stories as part of a bigger picture, enabling students to chart their way through the literary and historical issues of the Samuel narrative. Firth addresses issues of historicity, sources, date and authorship, as well as -- crucially -- appreciating the text as a literary whole.
Written by the dynamic leaders of church ministry across the country, this series explores life-changing topics from a biblical perspective. New Community guides don't force small groups to choose between Bible study and building community. Just the opposite. Each study delves deeply into Scripture in a way that strengthens relationships. Challenging questions encourage group members to reflect not only on Scripture but also on their own lives--individually and as a part of God's family. And unlike most Bible studies, the New Community series helps study groups convert biblical principles into practical teamwork--helping at the soup kitchen, bringing a meal to someone, writing an encouraging letter, and so on. Filled with prayer, insight, intimacy, and action, each study in this series will help group members line up their lives and relationship more closely with the Bible's model for the church.
Opening with the prophet Elijah's ascent into heaven and closing with the people of Judah's descent to Babylonia, 2 Kings charts the story of the two Israelite kingdoms until their destruction. This commentary unfolds the literary dimensions of 2 Kings, analyzes the strategies through which its words create a world of meaning, and examines the book's tales of prophets, political intrigue, royal apostasy, and religious reform as components of larger patterns.
2 Kings pays attention to the writers' methods of representing human character and of twisting chronological time for literary purposes. It also shows how the contests between kings and prophets are mirrored in the competing structures of regnal synchronization and prophecy-fulfillment. Much more than a common chronicle of royal achievements and disasters, 2 Kings emerges as a powerful history that creates memories and forges identities for its Jewish readers.
2 Kings is divided into four parts including Part One The Story of Elisha: 2 Kings 1:1-8:6"; Part Two "Revolutions in Aram, Israel, and Judah: 2 Kings 8:7-13:25"; Part Three "Turmoil and Tragedy for Israel: 2 Kings 14-17"; and Part Four "Renewal and Catastrophe for Judah: 2 Kings 18-25."
Robert L. Cohn is professor of religion and holds the Philip and Muriel Berman Chair in Jewish studies at Lafayette College. Under the auspices of the American Jewish Committee, he lectured on Jewish interpretations of the Bible as the first American Jewish-scholar-in-residence at four Roman Catholic seminaries in Poland.
The opening scenes in the story of redemption are essential for understanding what the rest of the Bible has to say about God, the world, and you. As you uncover the mysteries of the beginning of time, you'll discover how the sovereign God cares for the world, blesses those who walk in faith, and keeps his covenant promises.
To help you personally interact with the vital truths of Genesis, trusted Bible teacher Ron Rhodes provides...
- Scripture Readings and Insights--short passages of Genesis and easy-to-understand notes on each verse
- Major Themes--brief summaries of the most important ideas
- Cross-References--several other passages you can look up on relevant topics
- Life Lessons--practical applications to everyday life
- Questions for Reflection and Discussion--thought-provoking conversation starters for group discussions or personal journaling
Use this 40-day journey alone or with friends to fortify the foundations of your faith.
Focusing on Psalms 78, 105, 106, and 136, Walter Brueggemann considers these psalms on their own terms and then takes up two issues that move in opposite interpretive directions: the Psalms in relation to the historical writing of modernity and the Psalms in relation to the voices of marginality. Brueggemann attempts to enter Israel's past as that past is experienced, voiced, and advocated in the Psalms both as liberating affirmation and as controlling censure.
The Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation series explores current trends within the discipline of biblical interpretation by dealing with the literary qualities of the Bible: the play of its language, the coherence of its final form, and the relationships between text and readers. Biblical interpreters are being challenged to take responsibility for the theological, social, and ethical implications of their readings. This series encourages original readings that breach the confines of traditional biblical criticism.
Deuteronomy addresses social contexts of widespread displacement, an issue affecting 65 million people today. In this book Mark R. Glanville investigates how Deuteronomy fosters the integration of the stranger as kindred into the community of Yahweh. According to Deuteronomy, displaced people are to be enfolded within the household, within the clan, and within the nation. Glanville argues that Deuteronomy demonstrates the immense creativity that communities may invest in enfolding displaced and vulnerable people. Inclusivism is nourished through social law, the law of judicial procedure, communal feasting, and covenant renewal. Deuteronomy's call to include the stranger as kindred presents contemporary nation-states with an opportunity and a responsibility to reimagine themselves and their disposition toward displaced strangers today.
This volume explores multiple dimensions of prophetic texts and their violent rhetoric, providing a rich and engaging discussion of violent images not only in prophetic texts and in ancient Near Eastern art but also in modern film and receptions of prophetic texts.The volume addresses questions that are at once ancient and distressingly-modern: What do violent images do to us? Do they encourage violent behavior and/or provide an alternative to actual violence? How do depictions of violence define boundaries between and within communities? What readers can and should readers make of the disturbing rhetoric of violent prophets? Contributors include Corrine Carvahlo, Cynthia Chapman, Chris Franke, Bob Haak, Mary Mills, Julia O'Brien, Kathleen O'Connor, Carolyn Sharp, Yvonne Sherwood, and Daniel Smith-Christopher.
Jan A. Sigvartsen seeks to examine the immense interest in life after death, and speculation about the fates awaiting both the righteous and the wicked, that proliferated in the Second Temple period. In this volume Sigvartsen explores the Apocrypha and the apocalyptic writings in the Pseudepigrapha. He identifies the numerous afterlife and resurrection beliefs and presents an analysis that enables readers to easily understand and compare the wide-ranging beliefs regarding the afterlife that these texts hold.A careful reading of these resurrection passages, including passages appearing in Sirach, Maccabees, the Sibylline Oracles and the Ezra texts, reveals that most of the distinct views on life-after-death, regardless of their complexity, show little evidence of systematic development relational to one another, and are often supported by several key passages or shared motifs from texts that later became a part of the TaNaKh. Sigvartsen also highlights the factors that may have influenced the development of so many different resurrection beliefs; including anthropology, the nature of the soul, the scope of the resurrection, the number and function of judgments, and the final destination of the righteous and the wicked. Sigvartsen's study provides a deeper understanding of how the "TaNaKh" was read by different communities during this important period, and the role it played in the development of the resurrection belief - a central article of faith in both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.