Postcolonial biblical criticism took shape, largely, by critiquing the book of Exodus. Because of the eventual dispossession of Canaanites in the conquest narratives, so goes the thinking, the Hebrews’ God amounts to little more than a dangerous, destructive, and ethnocentric figure.
Hyphenating Moses Federico Alfredo Roth challenges this consensus by providing an alternative reading of its early narratives (1:1-3:15). Redeploying postcolonial theory and themes, Roth presents a reading of these well-known scenes as orbiting around the topic of identity formation, climaxing in the burning bush episode. In the giving of the name, YHWH promotes the virtue of conceiving identity as a malleable reality to be sought after by all parties caught in the dehumanizing discourse of colonial subjugation.
In this book Helen Paynter offers a radical re-evalution of the central section of Kings. Reading with attention to the literary devices of carnivalization and mirroring, she demonstrates that it contains a florid satire on kings, prophets and nations.
Building on the work of humorists, literary critics and biblical scholars, the author constructs diagnostic criteria for carnivalization (seriocomedy), and identifies an abundance of these features within the Elijah/Elisha and Aram narratives, showing how literary mirroring further enhances their satirical effect.
This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars concerned with the Hebrew Bible as literature but will be valued by those who favour more historical approaches for its insights into the Hebrew text.
The Death of Jacob: Narrative Conventions in Genesis 47.28-50.26 Kerry Lee investigates the deathbed story of the patriarch Jacob and uncovers the presence of a variety of conventional structures underlying its composition, especially a conventional deathbed story or type scene also found in numerous other texts in the Hebrew Bible and non-canonical Jewish literature. Finding fault both with traditional diachronic approaches as well as more recent synchronic studies, Lee uses an eclectic but coherent blend of contemporary methods (drawn from narratology, linguistics, ritual theory, legal theory, assyriology, and other disciplines) to show that despite its probably composite pre-history the last three chapters of Genesis have been intentionally and artfully structured by the hand predominately responsible for their final form.