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Story as Torah: Reading Old Testament Narrative Ethically

, 2000
ISBN: 9780567084910


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What do the grand stories of Israel and her heroes, as well as the many seemingly mundane incidents found in these narrative stories, contribute to guiding contemporary readers in their daily behavior?

Renowned scholar Gordon J. Wenham offers Story as Torah, a succinct monograph demonstrating how Old Testament narratives can indeed function as “Torah,” informing one’s ethical choices. Wenham examines how certain narrative phenomena—such as the repetition of key words or themes, the overall rhetorical purpose of a book, intertextual correspondence and key contextual indictors of mood—provide clues to the ethical message of the implied author. He uses the books of Genesis and Judges as test cases, examining texts that offer clear moral guidance as well as those in which ethical lesson is dubious. The end result is an accessible book which will help seminarians, pastors and other students and scholars of the Bible use Old Testament narratives more responsibly.

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Old Testament Studies Series Collection (8 Vols.)!

Wenham is not only a thoughtful exegete but a well-versed reader of the literature of Christian ethics.

—Bruce C. Birch, Interpretation

  • Title: Story as Torah: Reading the Old Testament Narrative Ethically
  • Author: Gordon J. Wenham
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 192
Gordon J. Wenham

Gordon J. Wenham (1943–) is recognized as an expert on the Pentateuch. He studied theology at Cambridge University and went on to do Old Testament research at King’s College, London. He also spent time at Harvard University and in Jerusalem at the Ecole Biblique and the Hebrew University. Along with currently teaching Old Testament at Trinity College, Wenham leads Trinity’s pilgrimages and study tours to the Holy Land. He has held teaching positions and served as visiting lecturer at several institutions around the world.

From 1995 to 2005, Wenham was Professor of Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire, where he now holds the title Professor Emeritis. Wenham also taught Old Testament at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Some of Wenham’s publications include the volume on Genesis in Word Biblical Commentary, the Numbers volume in the Tyndale Commentaries, the Pentatech volume of Exploring the Old Testament, and the volume on Leviticus in The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament.


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  1. Allen Browne

    Allen Browne


    This is a book I've had for years and keep returning to. You probably know Wenham as a good OT commentator. In this book he addresses the broader question of how we approach narrative in the OT and in what way it guides us. Chapter 4 on Judges is worth the price of the book.

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Digital list price: $22.99
Save $6.00 (26%)