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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

A Call to Covenant Love: Text Grammar and Literary Structure in Deuteronomy 5–11
DeRouchie, Jason S.

Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2007 pp. xxv + 398. $132.00

Series Information
Gorgias Dissertations; Gorgias Dissertations, Biblical Studies, 30; 2


Description: Profound in its conclusions and targeted toward the exegete, A Call to Covenant Love offers a clear method for establishing flow of thought, text hierarchy, and literary macrostructure in biblical Hebrew prose. The study contributes both to hermeneutical theory and to the study of Deuteronomy by arguing for the application of discourse linguistics alongside stylistic and semantic analysis in the interpretation of OT texts. It is distinct from most other textlinguistic studies in its attention to reported direct speech and in its inclusion of a brief literary-structural and theological commentary on Deuteronomy 5–11 that models the text grammatical approach and shows its benefits for exegesis. The study’s first goal is to clarify the formal elements of biblical Hebrew that operate above the sentence level and that help guide the understanding of text structure. Through rigorous analysis of the formal features, semantic meaning, and discourse function of every clause in Deuteronomy 5–11, this study lucidly evaluates and articulates how biblical Hebrew marks and/or tracks logic and flow of thought, foregrounding, participant reference, and various discourse signals. As the book’s main title suggests, in this study discourse grammar is a servant to exegesis. Through numerous examples and commentary, the study demonstrates that the biblical text is both coherent in its discussion and cohesive in its organization. Furthermore, A Call to Covenant Love clearly and passionately articulates the lasting message of one of the OT Scripture’s most foundational sections, extending the original call to life-encompassing, Godward surrender into the present age.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Deuteronomy, Literature

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Review by Max Rogland
Published 10/25/2009
Citation: Max Rogland, review of Jason S. Derouchie, A Call to Covenant Love: Text Grammar and Literary Structure in Deuteronomy 5–11, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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