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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter maintains that child characters have been long overlooked in biblical scholarship and calls attention to their critical roles in shaping the texts of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. After a summarizing overview of recent scholarship, the chapter briefly discusses Hebrew and Greek terms that indicate children and youth. It proposes a new methodology, called childist interpretation, which offers tools for discovering the role and importance of young characters in biblical narratives. This six-step process then serves as a vehicle for analyzing the stories of Naaman’s slave girl (2 Kings 5:1–14) and Herodias’s daughter (Mark 16:7–29). By questioning traditional hegemonic interpretive assumptions from a fresh perspective, childist interpretation heralds an innovative and significant development in biblical narrative analysis.

Keywords: children, youth, child characters, childist interpretation, childhood, Israelite slave girl, daughter, Herodias’s daughter

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