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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Shape of the Writings
Steinberg, Julius and Timothy J. Stone, editors

Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015 pp. xiii + 370. $54.50

Series Information
Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures, 16

Description: Are the Writings a miscellaneous collection of books, as is so often asserted, or do they have a purposeful design or arrangement? Over the past 35 years, there has been a significant amount of scholarly interest in the shape of the Law, Former Prophets, Twelve Minor Prophets and the Psalms, while examinations of the shape of the Writings were almost nonexistent until very recently. The 11 essays in this volume explore this often-neglected issue from a variety of critical perspectives—reader-centered approaches, canonical, structural-canonical, and redactional—made more robust by the mix of German- and English-language scholarship on this question, including 4 articles translated from German into English. Essays range from the historical development of the collection, to analysis of the collection's different arrangements, to the relationship of books and subcollections within the Writings, to the reception of the collection in Jewish and Christian sources. Every book in the Writings is discussed, with particular attention given to Job, Ruth, and 1 and 2 Chronicles. The volume closes with 3 critical responses from John Barton, Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, and Christopher Seitz.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Literary Approaches, Theological Approaches

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Review by Katharine Dell
Published 3/14/2019
Citation: Katharine Dell, review of Julius Steinberg and Timothy J. Stone, eds., The Shape of the Writings, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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