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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Iconographic Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: An Introduction to Its Method and Practice
de Hulster, Izaak J., Brent A. Strawn and Ryan P. Bonfiglio, editors

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015 pp. 383. €45.00


Description: Iconographic exegesis combines the study of biblical texts (exegesis) with the study of ancient expressions of visual art (iconography). Studying ancient visual art that is contemporary with the documents of the Old Testament gives remarkable insight, not only on the meaning and historical context of the biblical text, but also because it facilitates greater understanding of how the ancient authors and audiences saw, thought, and made sense of the world. Iconography thus merits close attention as another avenue that can lead to a more nuanced and more complete understanding of the biblical text. Each chapter of this book provides an exegesis of a particular biblical text or theme. The book is organized around the tripartite structure of the Hebrew Bible, and demonstrates that iconographical exegesis is pertinent to “every nook and cranny” of the Bible. Within the three parts, there is special emphasis on Genesis, Isaiah, and the Psalms in order to make the book attractive for classes that deal with one or more of these books and might therefore include an iconographic perspective. In addition to connecting with a major issue in biblical interpretation, theology, or visual studies each chapter will end with one or two exercises directing the reader/student to comparable texts and images, enabling them to apply what was described in the chapter for themselves. This approach enables beginners as well as advanced readers to integrate iconography into their toolbox of exegetical skills.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History, Archaeology, Literary Approaches, Hermeneutics

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Review by Michael B. Hundley
Published 3/2/2017
Citation: Michael B. Hundley, review of Izaak J. de Hulster, Brent A. Strawn, and Ryan P. Bonfiglio, eds., Iconographic Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: An Introduction to Its Method and Practice, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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