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David and Hattushili III: The Impact of Genre and a Response to J. Randall Short

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image of Vetus Testamentum

AbstractThis article has two components. The first is a theoretical discussion of genre, in which two distinct approaches are outlined. Literary genre theory, which has prevailed in biblical scholarship of the past century, is useful but has certain limitations since a literary genre is an historically situated category. Rhetorical genre theory, on the other hand, defines genre in a transhistorical way that allows one to employ it in situations where literary genre theory does not apply, such as when comparing texts from different cultures and time periods.The second part of the article illustrates the preceding through a response to J. Randall Short’s recent monograph, The Surprising Election and Confirmation of King David. The article submits that Short employs an unsound understanding of genre, treating apologetic—a transhistorical phenomenon that appears in all human cultures in various forms—as a literary genre instead of a rhetorical genre.

Affiliations: 1: The Johns Hopkins


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