Sex, Wives, and Warriors: Reading Old Testament Narrative with Its Ancient Audience

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9780227679913: Sex, Wives, and Warriors: Reading Old Testament Narrative with Its Ancient Audience

In Sex, Wives, and Warriors, our understanding of Old Testament narrative is expanded though Phillip Francis Esler's application of an intercultural reading of the texts, focusing on the question: "What would ancient readers have understood from these stories?" This approach reveals previously undiscovered levels of meaning in the Old Testament which readers all too often fail to place in its original cultural and historical context.

Esler draws on a wide range of disciplines, and in particular brings the techniques and insights of the social sciences to bear in his analysis. Not only is this reading contextualised and its significance for the Ancient Israelites explored, but Esler utilises scholarship on myth structure and Jungian archetypes to further clarify this original understanding.

This is a book ideal for anyone wishing a closer engagement with the biblical texts. Esler makes the narratives resonate with pivotal stories from the Christian and Jewish tradition and in doing so inspires us with their imaginative and literary power and enhances our capacity for intercultural understanding.

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About the Author:

Philip F. Esler is Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Principal of St Mary's University College, London. He is the author of Conflict and Identity in Romans (2003) and New Testament Theology (2005), and is the editor of Ancient Israel (2006).

Review:

...Each study is fascinating and thought-provoking: social context insights at their most perceptive... (Richard Briggs Biblical Studies Bulletin, Issue 66, December 2012)

‘...a tour de force, often brilliant and original, always illuminating...The book is highly recommended to all biblical scholars, including New Testament scholars, particularly to those interested in literary and social-science perspectives. Esler has taken a necessary and sophisticated first step in attempting to bring these discrete approaches together.’ (Mark Sneed Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament, Vol 2.1, June 2013)

“These stories offer readers an almost esthetic pleasure to enter an imaginative world which, whilst distant in terms of time and contemporaneity, can be established in the setting of ancient Israel using ethnographic evidence. It is in this context that Esler offers us a fresh historical and literary review of the Old Testament narratives. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and exhaustive book that illuminates and brings new life an ancient narrative using socio-scientific methods that can no longer be ignored if scholarship is to glean a true insight into the content and context of the Old Testament.” (Benjamin Bury Reviews in Religion and Theology , Vol.20 Issue 3. July 2013)

"...Esler is doing what OT scholarship has been doing for at least 250 years - interpreting the Bible in the light of what can be surmised about the customs and social background of the presumed biblical writers - but doing it in a much more informed way than was possible for earlier scholars." (Cannon Rogerson Church Times)

... Esler provides some thoughtful readings of the biblical narratives... His examination of the texts' literary features is careful and detailed and his integration of anthropological studies to his reading does raise some fresh insights for contemplating these ancient traditions... (Caroline Blyth Theology & Sexuality, Vol 19 No. 2, 2013)

...Esler takes care to defend his approach against charges of anachronism (i.e., inappropriately assuming cultural practices and thought forms from a later period existed in a former age) and excessive generalization (i.e., relating findings from a particular culture to other cultures without sufficient basis). On both counts he performs admirably and provides a worthwhile resource for those seeking to overcome the cultural and temporal distance between ancient and modern readers of the biblical text. (Linda A. Dietch Biblical Theology Bulletin, Vol. 43, February 2013)

Esler has written and excellent and refreshing work that I highly recommend. (Walter Vogels Studies in Religion, Vol. 42 No. 3, September 2013)

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Book Description James Clarke Co Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Suggesting new ways to read Old Testament narrative and giving reasons why we should, Esler, with the aid of Mediterranean anthropology, sets out an approach that helps us to interpret a selection of narratives with a cultural understanding close to that of an ancient Israelite. Interpreted in this way, these narratives allow us to refresh the memory that links us with pivotal stories in Jewish and Christian identities and how they foster our capacity for intercultural understanding. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780227679913

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Book Description 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. This book provides fresh answers to the questions of why and how should we read Old Testament narrative? When understood in closer relation to their original audience, Esler a.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 408 pages. 0.544. Bookseller Inventory # 9780227679913

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