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Opening Israel's Scriptures
is a collection of thirty-six essays on the Hebrew Bible, from Genesis to Chronicles, which gives powerful insight into the complexity and inexhaustibility of the Hebrew Scriptures as a theological resource. Based on more than two decades of lectures on Old Testament interpretation, Ellen F. Davis offers a selective yet comprehensive guide to the core concepts, literary patterns, storylines, and theological perspectives that are central to Israel's Scriptures. Underlying the whole study is the primary assumption that each book of the canon has literary and theological coherence, though not uniformity.
In both her close readings of individual texts and in her broad demonstrations of the coherence of whole books, Davis models the best practices of contemporary exegesis, integrating the insights of contemporary scholars with those of classical theological resources in Jewish and Christian traditions. Throughout, she keeps an eye to the experiences and concerns of contemporary readers, showing through multiple examples that the critical interpretation of texts is provisional, open-ended work--a collaboration across generations and cultures. Ultimately what she offers is an invitation into the more spacious world that the Bible discloses, which challenges ordinary conceptions of how things "really" are.