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The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History
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The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Is there poetry in the Bible? Does it have rhyme or meter? How did ancient Hebrew writers compose their works? James Kugel's provocative study provides surprising new answers to these age-old questions. Biblical "poetry" is not a concept native to the Bible itself, he proposes, and the idea that the Bible is divided into prose and verse is merely an approximation of the re ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published June 5th 1998 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published June 26th 1981)
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CJ Bowen
I enjoyed this book much more than I was expecting to. While Alter's book on biblical poetry has some important criticism of Kugel, reading Kugel was far more enlightening to me.

Kugel has correctly discerned the essence of parallelism as a progression from A to B in a "what is more" fashion, instead of focusing on rhyme or meter. He then gives us a thorough historical roadmap of the journey to understand biblical poetics, including a lot of blind alleys, as well as real advances.

The payoff for m
...more
Nicholas Rozier
The first two chapters are worth the price of the book. The remainder is "scholar speak" and not nearly as edifying.
Sue
This book about the nature of poetry in the Bible was technically way beyond me. Yet Kugel writes so clearly that I got something out of the book nevertheless. I have much clearer understanding of what "parallelism" is and what it is not, in the Bible, despite the fact that a lot of nuances in his study went right over my head.
Mike Garner
Great for introducing students to the poetry that fills the Old Testament.
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How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now The Bible as It Was In the Valley of the Shadow: On the Foundations of Religious Belief The God of Old: Inside the Lost World of the Bible The Great Poems of the Bible: A Reader's Companion with New Translations

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