Understanding of biblical poetry is enhanced by the study of its structure. In this book Adele Berlin analyzes parallelism, a major feature of Hebrew poetry, from a linguistic perspective. This new edition of Berlin’s study features an additional chapter, “The Range of Biblical Metaphors in Smikhut,” by late Russian linguist Lida Knorina. Berlin calls this addition “innovative and instructive to those who value the linguistic analysis of poetry.” It is a fitting coda to Berlin’s adept analysis.
Adele Berlin writes felicitously, and she is a reliable Old Testament scholar. In this newly reprinted edition of The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism, Berlin probes the linguistic phenomenon of parallelism. . . . I am confident that the reader will readily agree with Berlin herself that the study of parallelism is, above all else, fun.
—David Noel Freedman
The twentieth century has seen important breakthroughs in many fields of the humanities. Roman Jakobson offered us creative and fascinating explorations at the interface of linguistics and poetics. Building on his work, Adele Berlin showed us how pervasive and many-sided the phenomenon of parallelism is in biblical poetry. It was a delight to follow her extensive array of well-chosen examples. We are lucky now to have Berlin’s lucid language back in this revised edition.
—Jan Fokkelman, Leiden University
I have used Adele Berlin’s Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism in both my teaching and my research for twenty years, and I still find it fresh and enlightening. Berlin examines parallelism through a linguistic lens, showing it to be a system of forces that combine to give biblical poetry its special powers of communication. Her book is lucid, closely argued, and based on linguistic erudition and literary sensitivity.
—Michael V. Fox, University of Wisconsin-Madison