By Ronald Hendel
Analyzing Genesis provides a wide ranging view of the main very important ways in which Genesis is approached in glossy scholarship. Essays via ten eminent students conceal the views of literature, gender, reminiscence, assets, theology, and the reception of Genesis in Judaism and Christianity. each one contribution addresses the background and motive of the strategy, insightfully explores specific texts of Genesis, and deepens the interpretive achieve of the tactic in query. those methods of studying Genesis, which come with its vintage earlier readings, map out a pluralistic version for realizing Genesis in - and for - the fashionable age.
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Additional info for Reading Genesis: Ten Methods
Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and guard me on this path that I am going, and if he gives me bread to eat and clothes to wear, and if he returns me in peace to the house of my father, then Yahweh 21 Robert Alter, The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 870. 34 RONALD HENDEL will be my God. ” (Genesis 28:10–20) As Hermann Gunkel observed, in their essence and origin, the stories of the sacred sites founded by the patriarchs are collective memories: Again and again on such occasions we hear of specific locales – of Bethel, Penuel, Shechem, Beersheba, Lahai-roi .
I will address the question of how it works as a history-like or realistic narrative, an “instructive mirror of the human heart,” and whether it coheres as a large narrative. ”6 The misleading implication of that designation is that what we have beginning in Genesis 25 is a collection of discrete stories – analogous, let us say, to the Paul Bunyan tales in American folklore – that hang together loosely and have limited sequential order among them. There is a confusion here between the inferred origin of the stories and how they work together as the literary composition in which they have been integrated.
Through this rhetoric, the memorable past becomes a subjectively felt presence. The repetition of we hinneh, a deictic particle that has the effect of allowing the reader to see through the eyes of the character,25 intensifies the immediacy of the scene: “He had a dream, and behold (we hinneh), a staircase was standing on earth and its top reached to heaven. And behold (we hinneh), angels of God were going up and down on it” (v. 12). The doubled emphasis on the progressive vision – first the staircase and then angels – brings the scene into sharp experiential focus.