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Speaking on the Brink of Sheol


Form and Message of Old Testament Death Stories


Since its inception at the beginning of the twentieth century, form criticism has diminished in popularity and use in recent years. Bryan H. Cribb’s studies demonstrates that, if appropriately modified, form criticism still has much to add to Old Testament studies. Using a synchronic and inductive approach to the text, Cribb engages in a form critical study of nine “death stories” in the Old Testament. In so doing, he not only provides substantial support for the existence of this genre, but he also shows how remarkably fruitful such a study can be in revealing the messages of these accounts.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-671-8
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Nov 5,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 362
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-671-8
$172.00
$103.20

Since its inception and enthusiastic acceptance at the beginning of the twentieth century, form criticism has diminished in popularity and use in recent years. Bryan H. Cribb’s significant contribution to the discipline, Speaking on the Brink of Sheol, demonstrates that, if appropriately modified, form criticism still has much to add to Old Testament studies. Using a synchronic and inductive approach to the text, Cribb engages in a form critical study of nine “death stories” in the Old Testament. In so doing, he not only provides substantial support for the existence of this genre, which hitherto has not been identified by form critics, but he also shows how remarkably fruitful such a study can be in revealing the messages of these accounts.

The books respective chapters will appeal to a variety of readers. The student of ancient Near Eastern thought will find a helpful summary of the thanatological thought of the ancient civilizations surrounding Israel and of Israel itself. The form critic will profit from the refreshing modification of traditional form critical methodology in a synchronic direction. And all will gain a greater appreciation for the complex literary artistry of the Hebrew writers. But as the book’s title suggests, the main goal of this form critical work is to provide the biblical exegete greater insight into these intricate stories of individuals on the brink of Sheol.

Since its inception and enthusiastic acceptance at the beginning of the twentieth century, form criticism has diminished in popularity and use in recent years. Bryan H. Cribb’s significant contribution to the discipline, Speaking on the Brink of Sheol, demonstrates that, if appropriately modified, form criticism still has much to add to Old Testament studies. Using a synchronic and inductive approach to the text, Cribb engages in a form critical study of nine “death stories” in the Old Testament. In so doing, he not only provides substantial support for the existence of this genre, which hitherto has not been identified by form critics, but he also shows how remarkably fruitful such a study can be in revealing the messages of these accounts.

The books respective chapters will appeal to a variety of readers. The student of ancient Near Eastern thought will find a helpful summary of the thanatological thought of the ancient civilizations surrounding Israel and of Israel itself. The form critic will profit from the refreshing modification of traditional form critical methodology in a synchronic direction. And all will gain a greater appreciation for the complex literary artistry of the Hebrew writers. But as the book’s title suggests, the main goal of this form critical work is to provide the biblical exegete greater insight into these intricate stories of individuals on the brink of Sheol.

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Contributor Biography

Bryan Cribb

Bryan H. Cribb has served since 2006 as assistant professor of Christianity at Brewton-Parker College in Mt. Vernon, Georgia. With specialties in Old Testament theology and language, Cribb has written articles for numerous periodicals, and preaches and teaches regularly in local churches. He holds an M.Div. and Ph.D. in Old Testament Theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Daniel Block

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • List of Tables (page 7)
  • Foreword (page 9)
  • Preface (page 13)
  • Acknowledgments (page 15)
  • Abbreviations (page 17)
  • Introduction (page 19)
  • 1 Methodology (page 23)
    • Methodological Considerations (page 23)
    • Methodological Steps/Structure of the Study (page 31)
  • 2 Death in Israel and in the Ancient Near East (page 37)
    • ANE and Israelite Sources on Death (page 38)
    • A Brief Survey of Thanatological Beliefs (page 44)
    • Conclusion (page 66)
  • 3 Death Accounts in the Ancient Near East and Israel and the Old Testament Genre of Death Story (page 69)
    • ANE Death Accounts (page 70)
    • A Survey of Biblical Death Accounts (page 82)
    • The Classification Question (page 91)
    • Typical Form of Death Stories in the Old Testament (page 96)
  • 4 Form Critical Exegesis of the Death Stories in the Old Testament (page 111)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Sarah (Gen 23:1-20) (page 112)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Abraham (Gen 24:1-25:11) (page 125)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Jacob (Gen 47:28-50:14) (page 150)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Joseph (Gen 50:22-26) (page 183)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Aaron (Num 20:22-29) (page 194)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Moses (Deut 31:1-34:12) (page 203)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Joshua (Josh 23:1-24:30) (page 246)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of David (1 Kgs 1:1-2:12) (page 269)
    • Excursus on the Chroniclers Presentation of Davids Death (page 297)
    • Exegesis of the Death Story of Hezekiah (2 Kgs 20:1-21) (page 302)
    • Excursus on the Chroniclers Presentation of Hezekiahs Death (page 320)
  • 5 Conclusions (page 321)
    • Success and Significance of the Studys First Objective (page 323)
    • Success and Significance of the Studys Second Objective (page 323)
    • Conclusion (page 331)
  • Appendix (page 333)
  • Bibliography (page 345)
  • Index (page 363)
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