Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the significance of literary milieu for the analysis and interpretation of the narratives of the Hebrew Bible, in particular, the pre-exilic narratives found in Genesis-Kings (less Ruth). Appealing to literary milieu entails a type of literary-comparative method. There are, however, not one but two forms of literary comparison: historicist comparison, based on chronological and geographical contiguity, and formalist comparison, based on formal similarity. Whereas the concrete literary connections established by the former (so-called ancient Near Eastern parallels) are indispensable to the interpretation of specific passages, the abstract properties established by the latter (poetry, prose, oral tradition, and literature) bring into focus, rather, the different representational possibilities intrinsic to these different forms of narrative art.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible, ancient Near East, narrative, prose, oral tradition, literary criticism, formalism, comparative literature, epic, myth

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.