The Hebrew Bible as Literature: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780195300079

Tod Linafelt
128 Pages
113 x 173 mm
Pub date
Mar 2016
Very Short Introductions


To purchase this item, please add the product to your basket and click the Shopping basket link above to view your basket and continue.

Send mail
  • Provides a short, digestible, lively introduction to the Hebrew Bible as literature
  • Gives readers the tools to examine and appreciate the Hebrew Bible's literary achievements
  • Fully distinguishes between the narrative and poetic modes in the Hebrew Bible
  • Allows readers to approach the Hebrew Bible from a new direction

The Hebrew Bible, or Christian Old Testament, contains some of the finest literature that we have. This biblical literature has a place not only in the synagogue or the church but also among the classics of world literature. The stories of Jacob and David, for instance, present the earliest surviving examples of literary characters whose development the reader follows over the length of a lifetime. Elsewhere, as in the books of Esther or Ruth, readers find a snapshot of a particular, fraught moment that will define the character. The Hebrew Bible also provides quite a few high points of lyric poetry, from the praise and lament of the Psalms to the double entendres in the love of poetry of the Song of Songs. 
In short, the Bible can be celebrated not only as religious literature but, quite simply, as literature. This book offers a thorough and lively introduction to the Bible's two primary literary modes, narrative and poetry, foregrounding the nuances of plot, character, metaphor, structure and design, and intertextual allusions. Tod Linafelt thus gives readers the tools to fully experience and appreciate the Hebrew Bible's literary achievement.


1. Biblical literature and the Western literary tradition
2. Reading biblical narrative
3. Reading biblical poetry
4. Narrative and poetry working together
5. Connections between texts

About the author: 

Tod Linafelt is professor of biblical literature in the theology department at Georgetown University. He teaches courses on biblical literature, the Bible in popular culture, and the Hebrew scriptures.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.