To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
It is increasingly fashionable for interpreters of the Bible unfamiliar with the original languages and the relevant ancient history to pursue literary approaches. Even the legal material is commonly evaluated in literary terms. No scholarly effort is independent of fashion in the sense of a cultural trend and of idiosyncrasy in the sense of a personal bent. An often unspoken assumption is that because so much research into linguistic and historical backgrounds of the biblical texts has occurred down the centuries little scope is left to say much that is new. There is a measure of truth in this notion. Despite an abiding commitment among a coterie of German scholars, more often than not scholars pay but lip service to the longstanding historical-critical theory about the Graf-Wellhausen JEDP four source make-up of the Pentateuch. The approach’s long history illustrates the not infrequent phenomenon of a critical theory perpetuating itself even when its raison d’être has been lost sight of. It is, however, precisely a lack of confidence about uncovering new meaning in the original sources that provides a major impetus for this volume. The essays reflect the efforts of scholars who, by and large, not committing to old order ways, enable them to advance imaginative ones of looking at the Bible. The goal is to modify and reshape many preconceived notions about the contents of the Bible and also its role in selected areas of Western literature. Another aim is to stimulate further questioning on the part of the reader. There is good reason to do so. The German philosopher, Friedrich Schlegel, speaks of a classical work as one that cannot ever be fully understood, but those who are educated and who seek to enhance their education nevertheless through engagement with such a work learn more and more.
In the laws in the first five books of the Bible, each law is a response to a specific ethical or legal problem arising in a narrative incident recounted in Genesis through 2 Kings. The closest of links exist between law and literature. This argument differs significantly from the commonly held view that legal texts were inserted into narrative texts at different historical periods to reflect changing societal circumstances. Topics covered include the origin of the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments); legal ideas of perennial interest such as individual and corporate responsibility, conflict of law with principle, and authoritative sanctioning of evil; sacred (ritual) law; the absence of certain rules; the role of the curse in controlling behavior; the contributions of Jesus and Paul to ethics and law.
This Companion volume offers a sweeping survey of the Bible as a work of literature and its impact on Western writing. Underscoring the sophistication of the biblical writers' thinking in diverse areas of thought, it demonstrates how the Bible relates to many types of knowledge and its immense contribution to education through the ages. The volume emphasizes selected texts chosen from different books of the Bible and from later Western writers inspired by it. Individual essays, each written specially for this book, examine topics such as the gruesome wonders of apocalyptic texts, the erotic content of the Song of Songs, and Jesus' and Paul's language and reasoning, as well as Shakespeare's reflections on repentance in King Lear, Milton's genius in writing Paradise Lost, the social necessity of individual virtue in Shelley's poetry, and the mythic status of Melville's Moby Dick in the United States and the Western world in general.