Summary and Info
Drawing on the theory of language developed by the Soviet critic Mikhail Bakhtin, this book argues that the historically diverse writings of the Bible have been organized according to a concept of dialogue. The overriding concern with an ongoing communication between God and his people has been formally embodied, Reed shows, in the continuous conversation between one part of the Bible and another. Reed looks beyond the close readings of recent accounts of the Bible as literature to larger paradigms of communication in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament. He considers the Bible in its different canonical states, distinguishing the genres of law, prophecy, and wisdom in the Hebrew Bible and describing how these earlier forms of divine and human communication are appropriated and answered by the New Testament genre of gospel. The dialogic character of the Bible is also discovered within individual books: patriarchal answers to primeval failures in Genesis, cross-talk between justice and providence in Job, and orchestration of judgment and worship in Revelation. Throughout this wide-ranging study, Reed demonstrates the surprising relevance of Bakhtin's ideas of literature and language to the biblical writings as they assume formal coherence within the canon.
More About the Author
Walter Lawrence Reed (December 4, 1877 – May 1, 1956) was a Major General in the United States Army who served as Inspector General of the Army from December 1, 1935 to December 23, 1939.