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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter informs that the close literary analysis in this book offers a number of new readings or fresh perspectives on the narrative of Samuel and so adds to the general works on its literary artistry. The book builds on previous studies through particular attention to literary devices that conveys the characteristics of history writing. It examines not only how the techniques build characterisation, plot and theme, but also how they contribute to the causation of events, the evaluation of people in the past and the significance of the past. In contrast to Childs, who eschewed all historical critical analysis, this study of the final form of Samuel's historiography does not replace more traditional critical investigations into the text but rather complements it. Lowenthal and Berkhofer's critique of objective historiography reveals that there can be many interpretations and representations of history, each stemming from a different 'voice' or ideology.

Keywords: ancient narrative historiography; Berkhofer's critique; biblical study; book of Samuel; historical critical method; Lowenthal



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