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How the Bible Is Written: Faith and Literary Form

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, August 31, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2079
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  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

Almost everyone—believers, nonbelievers, and everyone in between—reads the Bible for its content, and for good reason. Its message continues to resonate, even from a distance of 3,000 years. The ethics, morality, and theology of the Bible inform our contemporary world in manifold ways, while the history revealed in the Bible also echoes to the present day.

But how were the biblical books composed and what can be said about the literary style of the Bible’s exquisite prose and poetry? Biblical scholar Gary Rendsburg, a specialist in ancient Israel and Egypt and medieval Hebrew manuscripts, explores how the ancient Israelite literati conveyed their message to the people who consumed the literature that eventually found its way into the canonical Biblical text.

He discusses how ancient wordsmiths used every device imaginable—wordplay, alliteration, repetition and variation, dialect representation, and more—to engage their audiences. He also discusses how texts were performed or presented orally, enabling people to listen to the text.

Rendsburg leads a literary journey back in time, imagining ourselves as listeners to the poets, prophets, and storytellers of ancient Israel.

His book How the Bible Is Written (Hendrickson) is available for sale.

Book Sale Information

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.