Reading the Lines: A Fresh Look at the Hebrew Bible

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Hendrickson Publishers, 2002 - Foreign Language Study - 227 pages
6 Reviews
Defying conventional wisdom with witty iconoclasm, Pamela Tamarkin Reis proves in these thought-provoking essays that you don't have to be a scholar to formulate intelligent, original opinions about the Bible. In refreshingly readable prose, Ms. Reis presents eleven essays on debated cruxes of the Hebrew Bible, all of which have been published in serious academic journals despite the author's lack of traditional credentials.

Opening with an engaging autobiographical introduction, Reis reveals the sources behind her motivation, perspective, technique, and audacity in challenging established scholars. She then presents her analyses of passages, using an approach that is respectful of the Bible as a faith document, but takes a literary, rather than a religious, perspective. Her lack of doctrinal bias frees her to come to unconventional, yet logically justified, conclusions.

Reis challenges many commonly held assumptions of scholars by reading biblical texts as integrated, intelligible literary masterworks. She does not find in these stories the too-easily accepted conclusion that they represent a patchwork from separate authors and sources. Her analyses are patently literary, though she is well informed by modern scholarship and traditional Jewish (medieval rabbinic) interpretation.

Reis prefaces each of these fascinating essays by explaining the provocation for her close reading, and outlines how her exegesis contradicts accepted opinion. Using everyday analogies and paradigms drawn from contemporary life, and infusing her approach with references to literary figures from Cervantes to Edmund Wilson to Ring Lardner, Reis's analyses resonate with familiarity, originality, andunpretentious intellect. Her compelling opinions and down-to-earth approach will show lay readers that the Bible is not too hard nor too far away and will oblige scholars to approach their own interpretations with more rigorous attention to every word.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dchaikin - LibraryThing

25. Reading the Lines : A Fresh Look at the Hebrew Bible by Pamela Tamarkin Reis (2002, 213 pages, Read Mar 27 Apr 26) This was just tough to read. The ideas are quite, more than that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 2wonderY - LibraryThing

Though Reis is considered an amateur scholar, she has a fresh interpretation of Jewish scriptures and has been published frequently in the scholarly journals. I appreciated her valuable insights interpreting difficult passages, esp. the creation narratives. Read full review


Kashomon and the Biblical Creation Narratives
A Note on Genesis 48
On the Utility of the WifeSister

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About the author (2002)

Reis is an independent student of the Bible.

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