Description: In this new contribution to the Readings series of commentaries, Roger Ryan offers a challenge to the fashionable disdain for the heroes of the book of Judges. As against the current consensus majoring on the supposed flaws in the characters of the judges, and denigrating them as participants in Israel’s moral and religious decline, he paints a positive portrait of each of the book’s judge-deliverers. The key element in all the stories of the judges is that each of them wins independence for oppressed Israelites against great odds—an element that should predispose readers to a favourable evaluation of the heroes. The book of Judges presents in this reading a dark story-world in which its characters take heroic risks as they resolve conflicts by violent means. Their stories are jubilantly told and readers are expected to be neither squeamish nor censorious.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, Judges, Literature
Review by Victor H. Matthews
Citation: Victor H. Matthews, review of Roger Ryan, Judges, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).
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