An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and by Walter Brueggemann

By Walter Brueggemann

During this up to date variation of the preferred textbook, Walter Brueggemann and Tod Linafelt introduce the reader to the vast theological scope of the previous testomony, treating probably the most very important matters and techniques in modern biblical interpretation. This in actual fact written textbook specializes in the literature of the outdated testomony because it grew out of spiritual, political, and ideological contexts over many centuries in Israel's historical past. masking each booklet within the previous testomony (arranged in canonical order), the authors exhibit the advance of theological innovations in biblical writings from the Torah via post-exilic Judaism. This advent invitations readers to interact within the development of that means as they enterprise into those undying texts.

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Beyond a lack of physical description in the biblical stories, one notices too that descriptions of personal qualities are largely absent. That is, characterization is rarely explicit, but rather must be teased out of the narrative based on what characters do and say. The presentation of Esau and Jacob in Genesis 25 illustrates this nicely. It is true that we are told that Esau is “a skillful hunter, a man of the field” (v. 27), but the essential characterization of Esau as impulsive and unreflective, indeed almost animal-like, is conveyed by action and dialogue.

Lowth admitted that many lines of biblical poetry did not display the same equivalence of terms that we see here, but nonetheless the recognition that lineation was based on the matching of two or three short lines in a couplet (two lines) or triplet (three lines) form, which did not depend on meter, opened the way for more sustained attention to such poetry as poetry, rather than just repetitious-sounding prose. 28 An Introduction to the Old Testament For two hundred years after Lowth nearly all attention to biblical verse was on this phenomenon of parallelism, and most especially semantic parallelism (or parallelism of meaning), which too often was reduced to the idea that the second or third line in a couplet or a triplet simply restates the basic idea from the first line.

For example, the male voice proclaims: Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that feed among the lilies. (4:5) 30 An Introduction to the Old Testament Or this, from the female voice: As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. (2:3) If line structure and other formal markers are enough to establish the presence of verse in the Bible, they still do not tell us much about its use or function.

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