The narratives of Solomon and Jeroboam, of Elijah and Ahab, have fascinated readers for millennia. They are the principal foundation of our knowledge of the history of Israel during the early years of the divided monarchy, and their reliability and verifiability as historical sources have long been the subject of intense scholarly analysis and debate. But even apart from questions of historical authenticity, they are gripping stories of richly drawn characters caught up in the complex tale of Yahweh's dealings with Israel: Solomon the wise is the builder of Yahweh's Temple, yet he becomes an idolater; Jeroboam is chosen by Yahweh as king, yet he worships the golden calves; Elijah is a prophet second only to Moses, yet he tries to renounce his calling; and Ahab is the worst of Israel's kings, yet shows traces of greatness.
This study explores the narrative world created by the ancient Israelite author - the people who inhabit it, the lives they live and the deeds they do, and the face of God who is revealed in their stories.
For centuries people have turned to the Hebrew Bible to hear the life-giving words of God's everlasting covenant. Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry shares the riches of this message with all who seek to hear it. Twenty-four volumes are projected for the series. Anticipate one volume in the series each spring and fall.
-- This series reflects the latest developments in a relatively new method of biblical study: literary criticism.
-- The authors approach the books of the Hebrew Bible as literary works, recognizing that the stories and poetry can be better appreciated if one is acquainted with the techniques whereby the ancient Hebrew authors told stories and wrote poems, as well as the strategies that modern readers use to understand them.
-- The contributors represent a variety of religious traditions, and theoretical approaches.
-- The authors comment on the text of the Hebrew Bible but they refer primarily to the New Revised Standard Version when referring to a modern translation.
-- The volumes in Berit Olam contain commentary only; the complete biblical text is not included.