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By Dale Patrick, Allen Scult

During this examine, Patrick and Scult are good proficient at the conception of ''discourses as power'' yet they don't linger over dense theoretical matters. particularly they exhibit in concrete circumstances how discourse works. Their examine of activity either places such conception to sturdy virtue, and indicates us task afresh. The publication is lucid, disciplined, and available, a very good assist in time of hassle. (Walter Brueggemann)

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It is true through how it affects action in the world—its praxis, one might say. Evidence of the Rhetorical Character of Biblical History We now turn to the other Deuteronomic summary, to see further how this sort of 'rhetorical truth' is disclosed through discourse. ' you shall say to your son, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and the Lord freed us from Egypt with a mighty hand. The Lord wrought before our eyes marvelous and destructive signs and portents in Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household; and He freed us from there, that He might take us and give us the land that he promised on oath to our fathers.

The text is also written in a way that permits, even encourages it to be interpreted in this way. Eric Auerbach in his famous comparison between the Bible and Homer speaks of the former as being 'fraught with background'. Whereas Homer 'represents phenomena in a fully externalized form', leaving little or nothing to the imagination, the Bible is full of lacunae. Thus the Biblical narratives through the spare reticence of their style can insinuate themselves into the reality of future generations through rhetorical interpretation.

This chapter argues that it indeed does make a difference to our understanding, at least in the case of the Biblical narratives, to read a text as history rather than realistic fiction. We will then look at the narratives themselves for indications of whether they mean to be read as one or the other, and if it is more appropriate to read them as history, history of what sort. The generic question is especially important here because of the 'rhetorical fact' that these narratives have 'rung true' to at least one important segment of their intended audience: They have been taken by the Jewish community as their true history—and not because they are necessarily factual, nor because they merely express some artistically framed 'truth about life'.

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