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The Elusive Prophet: The Prophet As a Historical Person, Literary Character, and Anonymous Artist (Oudtestamentische Studien, D. 45) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   263
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2005
Publisher   Society of Biblical Literature
ISBN  1589831969  
EAN  9781589831964  

Availability  112 units.
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Item Description...
The Israelite prophets as historical persons, as literary characters and as anonymous artists. Whereas modern methods of literary analysis have brought the artistic qualities of the books of the Prophets increasingly into focus during the past century, various modes of deconstruction have made the historical prophets themselves an ever more elusive phenomenon. Passages in the Old Testament describing their work and experiences are not read as biography anymore, but as literary fiction intended to picture the prophets as heroes of faith. The real 'prophets' were the anonymous artists who were responsible for the final editing of the legacy of the historical prophets and who often used the authority of their predecessors to promulgate their own theological views. This volume brings together studies about this theme by members of the British and Dutch societies for Old Testament study. Attempts to recover some of the biographical data and authentic experiences of the prophets alternate with penetrating analyses of the theological depth and stylistic virtuosity of the prophetic books.The volume will be particularly useful to all those interested in the interpretation of the prophetic books of the Old Testament.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The vanishing not elusive prophets  May 12, 2005
Collected in this volume are papers read at joint meetings on the prophet as historical person or literary character. Fourteen papers representing studies on more general aspects of prophecy in general (Fenton's Israelite Prophecy), specific books (Collins's Threading in Amos), and small units (Dijkstra on Amos 7:9-17 or Spronk on Judges 4:4-5) are collected in this volume. It is difficult to make a generalized assessment with such a diverse group of essays. In general the discussions represent recent movements away from a historical understanding of the text to the position that it is later redacted literature. The prophets as persons are only a weak consideration in these essays. Such persons, if historical, are well hidden behind the literature created about them. When the prophet is considered a historical figure it is mostly because of a unique feature of the text that might be explained as stemming from an original thinker, like the confessions of Jeremiah or Amos's moment of confrontation with Amaziah. Spronk's paper, for example, holds to the authentic placement of Judges 4:4-5 (describing the prophetess Deborah) but deconstructs Deborah from the named wife, judge, and prophetess to an anonymous necromancer working out of the tomb of Rebecca, Deborah's nurse. A number, but not all, support Auld's thesis that Israel's prophets were poets (not prophets) with features, like the title (nab'i) being added later. I found Fenton's article on "Israelite Prophecy..." and Dijkstra's contribution, which concentrates on Amos 7 but expands to address hermeneutical concerns, to be more informative than many of the others. I would consider this to be one of the more disappointing collections to be published in recent times. In general, the articles express the author's presuppositions more than advances on the biblical text.

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