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Function of Story in the Hebrew Psalter

Function of Story in the Hebrew Psalter

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Hardback

£73.00

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781978711464
Number of Pages: 198
Published: 29/06/2021
Width: 16.2 cm
Height: 22.8 cm
Providing balance to the general scholarly trend to focus on the non-narrative aspect of Hebrew poetry, this book argues that the Hebrew Psalter does contain stories, and their inclusion in ancient Israel's worship texts contributes to the rhetorical power of the psalms in ways distinct from other poetic devices. Rebecca W. Poe Hays builds on literary theory and biblical studies of narrative to establish a clear definition of "story" and to identify where story appears in the book of Psalms. The majority of the book explores how these story portions of the Psalter-divided into the three broad categories of retellings of history, testimonies, and paradigms-function within their larger contexts. Each chapter includes a discussion of a particular category's general characteristics, a close reading of representative texts, and an assessment of distinctive ways each type of story functions in the psalms in which they appear. These poetic, psalmic stories have the rhetorical power to draw readers uniquely into narrative worlds and inspire empathy, to guide readers into particular understandings of history and teach inductively, and to concretize the abstract and so shape the beliefs and behaviors of the communities who regard them as sacred texts.

Rebecca W. Poe Hays

Rebecca W. Poe Hays is assistant professor of Christian Scriptures at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University.

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