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Mixing Metaphors: God as Mother and Father in Deutero-Isaiah
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Mixing Metaphors: God as Mother and Father in Deutero-Isaiah


T&T Clark 2004

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While most treatments of biblical metaphor examine individual metaphors in isolation, Sarah J. Dille presents a model for interpretation based on their interaction with one another. Using Lakoff and Johnson’s category of “metaphoric coherence,” she argues that when non-consistent or contradictory metaphors appear together in a literary unit, the areas of overlap (coherence) are highlighted in each.

Using the images of father and mother in Deutero-Isaiah as a starting point, she explores how these images interact with others: for example, the divine warrior, the redeeming kinsman, the artisan of clay, or the husband. The juxtaposition of diverse metaphors (common in Hebrew prophetic literature) highlights common “entailments,” enabling the reader to see aspects of the image which would be overlooked or invisible if read in isolation. Dille argues that any metaphor for God can only be understood if it is read or heard in interaction with others within a particular cultural context.

Key Features

  • Examines the composition, meaning, and interpretive challenges in Isaiah
  • Discusses questions of authorship, historicity, and canonicity
  • All Scripture references linked to the Hebrew texts and English Bible translations in your library

Praise for the Print Edition

Dille's study demonstrates how profitable, and indeed, necessary it is to study mixed metaphors. She has done a service to the study of biblical metaphors by directing future scholarship to new and rich areas for research.

—Kevin Chau, Hebrew Studies

Dille has given the scholarly community a great contribution in her call to properly understand metaphors in their historical context. . . . Modern scholars surely need a reminder to avoid, as far as possible, overlaying modern associations onto ancient texts. . . . The overall contribution of this monograph is very valuable. . . . This monograph serves as a good reminder of the significance of metaphor in the Bible.

—Charles Halton, Bulletin for Biblical Research

Product Details

  • Title: Mixing Metaphors: God as Mother and Father in Deutero-Isaiah
  • Author: Sarah J. Dille
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 216

About Sarah J. Dille

Sarah J. Dille is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Wooster College.