Exegesis of 1samuel 17 Essay

2234 Words Jun 4th, 2013 9 Pages
STUDENT NO:11361949

Topic: What according to Whitelam (1998), Dutcher-Walls (2009) and Steinberg (1995) is a social scientific approach to the OT? How does this approach help us understand Judges 9 better?
Introduction: The aim of social scientific criticism, as a subfield of biblical exegesis, is to study the biblical materials as a reflection of their cultural setting. The meaning and/or the social background of the text are thus more fully illumined by the exercise of sociological and anthropological methods and theories. The era of modern social-scientific research began in the late 19th century with the work of Karl Marx, Auguste Comte, and Herbert Spencer.
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The search for the social world of the Bible since the nineteenth century had been closely identified with the history of Israel through to the first century C E. The gradual and ever-increasing erosion of this history, its increasing divorce from the biblical texts was the catalyst for fresh attempts to explore and reconstruct the social world of ancient Palestine and the Mediterranean world. The appeal to the social sciences was an attempt to recover the many aspects of society which were not mentioned in the texts but which formed an essential element in the social world from which they emerged. The appeal to archaeology, sociology and anthropology, in particular, was seen as addressing some of the deficiencies in the biblical texts as sources for their own social world. This was paralleled by an increasing interest in the social production of the biblical literature, its ideological aspects, the factional disputes which lay behind it and the social and political world it represented or reflected. The trends and directions in current research which constitute the new search for the social world of the Bible are much too varied a phenomenon to be categorized by a single phrase such as 'the sociological approach'.

It is ironic that the new search for the social world of the Bible, initiated by Mendenhall and Gottwald, has resulted in a redefinition of the 'biblical

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