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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Subversive Scribes and the Solomonic Narrative: A Rereading of 1 Kings 1-11
Seibert, Eric A.

New York: T&T Clark, 2006 pp. xiv + 209. $156.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 436

Description: Subversive Scribes and the Solomonic Narrative seeks, in part, to contribute to the ongoing discussion by investigating the Solomonic narrative through the optics of propaganda and, specifically, subversion. Since previous studies have already given considerable attention to the propagandistic potential of various aspects of the Solomonic narrative, Seibert's book explores examples of scribal subversion in 1 Kgs 1-11. He examines texts that covertly undermine the legitimacy or the legacy of Solomon and explores the social context in which scribal subversion was not only possible, but perhaps even necessary. Seibert's book is divided into two major sections. The first explores the theory of subversive scribal activity. Seibert devotes his attention to developing definitions of propaganda and subversion briefly reviewing other studies which have used these literary classifications when discussing biblical texts. Part 2 contains an extended discussion of the role of scribes in the ancient Near East, with specific attention devoted to clarifying their social location and relationship vis-ŗ-vis the royal establishment. Did scribes always do what they were told? Were they simply pre-programmed political functionaries who produced on demand (or else!)? Or did these scribes have a mind of their own? Could they express their own opinions, even if these differed from the "party line?" And if so, how?

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, 1-2 Kings, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel

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Review by Ralph K. Hawkins
Published 3/28/2009
Citation: Ralph K. Hawkins, review of Eric A. Seibert, Subversive Scribes and the Solomonic Narrative: A Rereading of 1 Kings 1-11, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2009).

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