The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History

The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History

by James Kugel, James Kugel
     
 

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Is there poetry in the Bible? Does it have rhyme or meter? How did ancient Hebrew writers compose their works? James Kugel's provocative study provides surprising new answers to these age-old questions. Biblical "poetry" is not a concept native to the Bible itself, he proposes, and the idea that the Bible is divided into prose and verse is merely an approximation

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Overview

Is there poetry in the Bible? Does it have rhyme or meter? How did ancient Hebrew writers compose their works? James Kugel's provocative study provides surprising new answers to these age-old questions. Biblical "poetry" is not a concept native to the Bible itself, he proposes, and the idea that the Bible is divided into prose and verse is merely an approximation of the reality of biblical style. Arguing that the Bible presents a continuum of speech heightened in varying degrees by different means, Kugel sets out to describe Hebrew's high style on its own terms. He also offers a thorough history of the idea of biblical poetry, starting with Philo of Alexandria and Josephus in the first century C.E. and charting its development through the Church Fathers, medieval Jewish writers, the Christian Hebraists of the Renaissance, and on into modern times. The story of how each age understood the nature biblical poetry, Kugel concludes, is a key to understanding the Bible's place in the history of Western thought.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

By challenging some of scholarship's most cherished positions, this book will undoubtedly become the sine qua non for all future discussions of biblical language.

Journal of Jewish Studies - P. Wernberg-Moller

This book is a truly remarkable achievement.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament - Francis Landy

A pleasure to read and obviously fun to write, a book which reminds us, through its mastery of critical rhetoric and immense learning, of the playfulness of being a scholar.

Shofar

Consistently erudite, lucid, honest, revisionist, and awesomely comprehensive.

P. Wernberg-Moller
A truly remarkable achievement. -- Journal of Jewish Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801859441
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
06/26/1998
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
356
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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