2017 Annual Meeting Sessions

OT Narrative Literature (invited session): Recent Interpretive Methods

  • Danny Hays
    Ouachita Baptist University

    Narrative Criticism: the most useful (but not the only) tool in our OT Narrative interpretive toolbox

    Abstract: This paper argues that the best approach to interpreting OT Narrative Literature is an eclectic approach, using Narrative Criticism as the most basic and foundational methodology, while also secondarily incorporating other approaches such as historical backgrounds, linguistic analysis, and spatial theory. First, a brief overview of Narrative Criticism will be presented. Then the overlap and complementary nature of these other approaches will be briefly discussed as well as the interpretive tension that can arise when two prominent methods (especially Narrative Criticism and historical backgrounds) seem to collide.

  • Richard E. Averbeck
    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

    Source Critical Analysis of the Hebrew Bible: An Update and Evaluation

    Abstract: This paper will review and evaluate current approaches to the literary source critical analysis of the Pentateuch and its extensions into other narrative portions of the Hebrew Old Testament. It will consider the basic foundations and ethos of the source critical method, outline briefly its historical development, and highlight, describe, and give examples of the most important recent developments in the field. The paper will include evaluation of the current practice of source criticism from a conservative evangelical point of view.

  • Jason S. DeRouchie
    Bethlehem College & Seminary

    The Contribution of Discourse Analysis to Interpreting Old Testament Hebrew Narrative

    Abstract: This paper proposes that discourse analysis should work alongside literary and stylistic analysis when interpreting Old Testament Hebrew narrative. The study identifies how the biblical authors employed connecting words, discourse markers, verb patterns, and the like to help us establish a text’s structure, trace its thought-flow, and grasp its message. A rigorous discourse analysis of a text’s linguistic patterns will help guide, correct, and/or support all conclusions that interpreters gain from a text’s surface features––literary and stylistic elements like characterization, plot development, repetition, inclusio, terseness, ellipsis, rhyme, and/or parallelism.

  • Victor H. Matthews
    Missouri State University

    Spatiality Theory and the Hebrew Bible: Methods and Applications

    Abstract: This paper will provide an overview of spatiality theory, including its definition, origin, and development over the past twenty years.  It will also demonstrate how space, geographical reiteration, and memory studies connect in the interpretation of biblical narratives.  Specific texts will be used to illustrate both the range of methods and possible applications for spatiality when addressing the social world aspects of ancient Israel’s story telling.