Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History” as Want to Read:
The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Idea of Biblical Poetry, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Idea of Biblical Poetry

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 54)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
Nicholas Rozier
The first two chapters are worth the price of the book. The remainder is "scholar speak" and not nearly as edifying.
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.
K B marked it as to-read
May 11, 2015
Marina marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2015
Kathryn marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
Jill added it
Aug 15, 2014
Randy marked it as to-read
May 14, 2014
Jonathan Freed
Jonathan Freed marked it as to-read
Apr 01, 2014
Nick added it
Mar 27, 2014
Moshe Gold
Moshe Gold marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2014
Scott Fillmer
Scott Fillmer marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2013
Ajgrands marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2013
Emily marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2013
Levi marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2013
Angela marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2013
Michael marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2013
Troy Greene
Troy Greene marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2013
Richard marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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

Share This Book