Millgram–not fiction but literary history

theoutwardquest

I am in the early pages of Hillel Millgram’s The Elijah Enigma, in which he deals with the conflict between the prophet, Elijah, and the king, Ahab. I will make just a few points about Millgram’s approach.

First, Millgram uses literary analysis. He especially relies on Robert Alter’s approach to the Bible.

Part of the way the Bible is written involves the author taking an omniscient, all-knowing position. The author knows what the characters do not, even what the reader does not. But the author acknowledges the fog of uncertainty that being human entails. So he only reveals part of what he knows. He is sometimes suggestive and mystifying.

Second, the way this relates to history is not that the authors really had a God’s-eye view. They used sources and were not channeling direct or divine knowledge. And yet they take a literary position as though they are able…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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