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Stories of forgiveness: Narrative ethics and the Old Testament

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Chapter Summary

This chapter pushes beyond the immediate horizon of the question has the author of Samuel a fundamental objection to the teaching about forgiveness, or is he simply pointing to notable exceptions, to explore just what 'the teaching about forgiveness' in the narratives of the Hebrew Bible might be (part of a larger project to investigate the ethics of interpersonal forgiveness in the Hebrew Bible as a whole). Perhaps the most pressing problem for the present interest is that interpersonal forgiveness is virtually absent from the stories of the Hebrew Bible. The stories which offer something relevant to the 'problem' of interpersonal forgiveness appear to be limited to the stories of the brothers Jacob and Esau (Genesis 32-33), Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 50), and Abigail's intervention with David (1 Samuel 25). The chapter examines each story with the purpose of describing the narrative dynamics of interpersonal forgiveness.

Keywords: 1 Samuel 25; Genesis 32-33; Genesis 50; Hebrew Bible; interpersonal forgiveness; narrative ethics



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