Talk by Biblical Scholar Mark Shaffer, April 14 @ 7pmApril 8, 2014
Monday, 14 April, 7pm
SUB Conference Room 3000
Mark Shaffer, Truman graduate and doctoral candidate at the Hebrew Union College
“Deborah and Barak, Yael and Sisura”
Mental Pegs for Reading Composite Literature in the Hebrew Bible
One of the challenges interpreting the Hebrew Bible is its composite nature. Scribal editors drew from large oral and written repertoire of cultural stories in writing the Bible. By compiling and redacting narratives, poetry, royal promulgations, lists and genealogies, they composed a singular document which tells the collective story of the Israelite people. In Judges 4 and 5 we see lucidly the phenomenon of “composite literature” in the narrative voice of the editor, a centuries older Canaanite folktale, and one of the most ancient Hebrew poems extant. Understanding both the diversity and literary prowess of the source material as well as the theological overlay of the editor affords a richer conversation with the text of the Bible.