By Yael Ziegler
Whereas many reports discover the literary position of the oath commonly literature, none have contended with the function of the oath within the biblical narratives. This research seeks to fill that vacuum. the 1st component of this learn examines the literary value of some of the oath formulae that seem in biblical narratives, targeting anomalous formulations of the respective oath formulae. the second one part of this research explores the narratives surrounding characters, Saul and David, either one of whom usually have interaction in oath-making. The oaths taken via, to and approximately those characters replicate the narrative itself, and serve as as a prism in which the character's occupation is refracted. This research demonstrates that by way of perceiving the oath as a literary machine for plot and personality improvement, extra or extra specific meanings might be printed within the biblical tales.
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Additional info for Promises to Keep: The Oath in Biblical Narrative
13. Greenberg, Oath, p. 1295, begins by defining an oath as a self-curse. Some scholars regard the flip side as true as well: when the oath is upheld, it is intrinsically associated with benedictions (Fensham, Oath, p. 572). Lehmann, Biblical Oaths, p. 77, maintains that oaths originally contained both curses and blessings. Eventually, curses predominate and become synonymous with the oath. 40 Oesterley and Stinespring, Oath, p. 707; Ferries, Oath, p. 576. 41 The absence of the curse from the oath formula can be attributed to several possible factors.
The existing monuments form an ideal order . . [which] is complete before the new work arrives . . the past should be altered by the present, as much as the present is directed by the past” (Eliot, Selected Essays, pp. 4–5). 118 Barton, Reading, p. 156. 119 Alter has noted that “it is the exception in any culture for literary invention to be a purely aesthetic activity. ”120 Thus, despite the inherent value of discerning the Bible’s beauty of form or intricate composition, I will also regard the information and meaning conveyed by the narrative as a significant component of a rigorous analysis of biblical narratives.
113 Broadly speaking, the term “New Criticism” is used to mean a literary methodology which focuses on the style, rhetoric or structure of the text as a unitary object, rather than an interest in the mind and personality of the author, original sources, the history of ideas, and the political and social implications of these ideas. While this approach has its roots in the 1920s (for the most part in America), Clines and Exum, New Literary Criticism, p. 12, have noted that newer methodologies of literary criticisms now exist, such as Feminist Criticism, Marxist Criticism, Reader-Response Criticism, and Deconstructionism.