By K. Lawson Younger
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Extra info for Ancient Conquest Accounts: A Study in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History Writing (JSOTSup)
Because the inheritance of the nineteenth century has been so powerful for such a long time in biblical study, research has been dominated by these diachronic concerns. Hence this approach has come to be seen as self-evidently correct and as particularly appropriate to the alleged character of the biblical texts. So much is this the case that an initial response to some methods of understanding which accent rather a synchronic analysis has been that these latter methods looked suspiciously a priori and theoretical.
Remove them from his discourse, and you destroy much of its impact as an 'explanation' in the form of an 'idiographic' description. The theory of figures of speech permits us 'to track the historian in his encodation of his message'. ' It simply means that the interpreter of the historical text must work that much harder at the interpretive process. Hence, when we say that a historical narrative is figurative, we are speaking primarily of this impositional nature of the account. This nature manifests itself in three ways:90 1) the structural and ideological codes underlying the text's production, 2) the themes or motifs that the text utilizes,91 and 3) the usage of rhetorical figures in the accounts.
We are only suggesting that it will reveal certain aspects of the text's make-up which will further the interpretive endeavor. It permits a finer distinctions to be maintained in the analyses. Obviously this type of approach is very different from the common diachronic method with its concerns for correctly dating various stages in a tradition's development, for separating early traditions from redactional elements, and so forth. Because the inheritance of the nineteenth century has been so powerful for such a long time in biblical study, research has been dominated by these diachronic concerns.
Ancient Conquest Accounts: A Study in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History Writing (JSOTSup) by K. Lawson Younger