David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story

David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story

by Paul Borgman

Hardcover(New Edition)

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Overview

The biblical story of King David and his conflict with King Saul (1 and 2 Samuel) is one of the most colorful and perennially popular in the Hebrew Bible. In recent years, this story has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention, much of it devoted to showing that David was a far less heroic character than appears on the surface. Indeed, more than one has painted David as a despicable tyrant. Paul Borgman provides a counter-reading to these studies, through an attentive reading of the narrative patterns of the text. He focuses on one of the key features of ancient Hebrew narrative poetics — repeated patterns — taking special note of even the small variations each time a pattern recurs. He argues that such "hearing cues" would have alerted an ancient audience to the answers to such questions as "Who is David?" and "What is so wrong with Saul?" The narrative insists on such questions, says Borgman, slowly disclosing answers through patterns of repeated scenarios and dominant motifs that yield, finally, the supreme work of storytelling in ancient literature. Borgman concludes with a comparison with Homer's storytelling technique, demontrating that the David story is indeed a masterpiece and David (as Baruch Halpern has said) "the first truly modern human."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195331608
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/16/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Paul Borgman is Professor of English at Gordon College. He is the author of Genesis: The Story We Haven't Heard and The Way According to Luke: Hearing the Whole Story of Luke Acts.

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