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Sanctioning Samson: Do Old Testament Stories About Violence Make Sense Today? Some Answers From The Perspective Of Redaction Criticism And History Of Research

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Chapter Summary

Redaction critical studies can be of help to discover layers below, laid down through ages of interpretation and misinterpretation, continually recovering and reconstituting the beauty and relevance of old 'violent' stories. This chapter begins with the author's personal attempt to relate the historical-critical approach of the biblical text to a biblical theology that takes seriously the issues of today. The author does this by first looking at some of the most violent texts of the Old Testament: the stories about Samson. What do we have to think of this judge of Israel? Can he still be regarded as an example for those who want to live and act out of faith? In order to focus on the problem and on the way it has been dealt with in the tradition, the chapter describes some aspects of the history of interpretation of a section of the book of Judges.

Keywords: Old Testament stories; redaction criticism; Samson; violent stories



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