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Reading Hebrew Bible Narratives

J. Andrew Dearman

27 December 2018

ISBN: 9780190246495

232 pages

Price: £15.99



Reading Hebrew Bible Narratives introduces readers to narrative traditions of the Old Testament and to methods of interpreting them. Considering literary analysis, words and texts in context, and reception history, this volume gives students an overview of how exegesis illuminates stories in the Bible.

  • Introduces the narrative traditions of the Old Testament, and offers multiple interpretations
  • Encourages readers to actively engage in the process of exegesis
  • Focuses on the books of Genesis and Ruth, and the institution of marriage and family in ancient Israel

About the Author(s)

J. Andrew Dearman, Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

J. Andrew Dearman has served as a professor both in the USA and abroad for 35 years. He has worked on archaeological projects in Israel and Jordan, and consulted on multiple Bible translation projects.

Table of Contents

    Series Introduction
    Chapter 1: Narratives in the Hebrew Bible
    Section 1: The World of the Text
    Chapter 2: Explanation and Persuasion in Stories of Origins: Two Examples in Genesis
    Chapter 3: Plot and Theme in the Book of Ruth
    Chapter 4: Characters in the Book of Ruth
    Chapter 5: Narrative Art: Words and Their Meaning
    Chapter 6: Narrative Art: Words and Their Meaning Continued
    Section 2: The World behind the Text
    Chapter 7: Narrative Contexts: History and Culture
    Chapter 8: Narrative Contexts: History and Culture Continued
    Section 3: The Worlds of and behind the Text
    Chapter 9: Family Origins in Genesis 2
    Chapter 10: 1 Kings 21: A Royal Family and its Influence in Prophetic Perspective
    Section 4: The World in front of the Text
    Chapter 11: Reception History and Classical Stories


"provides a helpful paradigm for approaching Hebrew narratives ... By bringing these three viewpoints to bear on the text, the reader uncovers the richness of the biblical narrative." - W. J. Pankey, CHOICE

"Dearman offers students a rich experience of reading and interpreting texts as literary products of specific historical cultures." - Mary E. Mills, University of Manchester, Review of Biblical Literature

"The four sections and eleven chapters of Reading Hebrew Bible Narratives offer readers multiple vantage points or ways to "see" the stories of the biblical text. ... [The Book] contains a sampling of different types of narratives, attends to the importance of semantics and the meaning of ancient words, and is highly accessible for a non-scholarly audience." - Kimberly D. Russaw, Biblical Interpretation

"uses an informal, easy-to-read writing style that is accessible to a broad audience" - Old Testament Abstracts

"An important and helpful introduction to the ever-interesting narrativity of the Hebrew Scriptures. Examples from Genesis, Ruth, Judges, 2 Samuel 7, and 1 Kings 21, and others richly illustrate the distinctive features of Hebrew narratives and demonstrate their contribution to the overall message of the Bible. Professor Dearman brings his impressive knowledge of the subject to bear in an easy-to-read and appealing presentation that will find a home on our desks, bookshelves, and classrooms for many years to come." - Bill T. Arnold, Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary