The Book of Psalms

Though not reckoned as a scripture scholar in any conventional sense, Robert Alter has affected the study of the Hebrew Bible in immense ways. His influence stems primarily from two remarkable books, The Art of Biblical Narrative and The Art of Biblical Poetry (published by Basic Books in 1983 and 1987 respectively). In the first of these Alter took up “close reading” of scriptural narrative texts with reference to plot, character and type scenes, and he showed how a rhetoric of narrative works. In the latter book he primarily paid attention to poetic parallelism, the defining mark of biblical poetry.


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