Until recently, studies of the Bible centered on finding sources for historical knowledge, theological insights, or ethical advice, overlooking the true beauty of the words in the "book of books." This collection of six essays by noted literary critics and biblical scholars--including Harold Bloom, Hans Frei, Frank Kermode, James Robinson, Donald Foster, and Herbert Schneidau--breaks new ground by exploring the Bible as poetry, rhetoric, and narrative. The authors treat such issues involved in biblical narrative as its genesis, its revisionist dynamic, its fictional character, its interpretive nature, and its contradictions, prejudices, and claims. McConnell's lively, readable introduction elucidates and unifies the book's themes.
"These chapters, all by distinguished critics, make original contributions both to the discussion of literary approaches to Scripture and to narrative theology."--Journal of Religion
"This collection of six essays by major critics is a significant contribution to the growing number of literary studies of the Bible....Overall, developments in hermeneutics and literary criticism are well covered; further, the essayists break new ground and suggest directions for future study...this important book deserves inclusion in upper-undergraduate, graduate, and comprehensive general collections on Bible, literary criticism, and religion."--Choice
"The book is a collection of highly interesting exercises in contemporary literary criticism...What is new here is McConnell's thesis that the Bible is a text that comments on itself but also has extratextual relations with communities of believers and with other texts, so that it is not only an artifact but also a historical fact of major importance."--Journal of Modern Literature
"Perhaps the most important accomplishment of this provocative collection is its convincing demonstration that narrative is not another literary genre to be set alongside poetry and drama, epistle and apothegm. Story-telling seems virtually coeval with language itself, indeed with consciousness itself."--Books & Religion
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