Asking for Rhetoric

The Hebrew Bible's Protean Interrogative


What is a question? Kenneth Craig poses this query in the introductory chapter of his innovative study on the function of interrogatives in the Hebrew Bible. He describes a question as “a special literary phenomenon. A question is an opening that seeks to be closed, and its rhetorical play derives from how it disposes its energies: how it invites opening, how it imposes closure” (p. 2). Carefully analyzing texts from Genesis, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, Haggai and Zechariah, Craig demonstrates the nuanced and multifaceted ways in which the Hebrew Bible’s interrogatives function to advance the Bible’s literary and ideological goals.


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Biographical Note

Kenneth M. Craig, Jr., Ph.D. (1989) in Hebrew Bible, Southern Seminary, is Professor of Biblical Studies at Lees-McRae College. He has published A Poetics of Jonah: Art in the Service of Ideology, Reading Esther: A Case for the Literary Carnivalesque, and numerous articles on the literary aspects of biblical narrative.


Scholars and interpreters interested in the role and function of literary and rhetorical devices in biblical narrative.