I’ve been reading a good bit of Mikhail Bakhtin this summer, and have come across some pretty mind-blowing passages in his Dialogic Imagination and Rabelais and his World . The following quotations have to do with the role of humor in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The laughing, parodic-travestying literature of the Middle Ages was extremely rich. In the wealth and variety of its parodic forms, the Middle Ages was akin to Rome. It must in fact be said that… Read more

Another article from Biblica , this time from 1991, on the use of ” herem ” (“the ban”) in 1 Kings 20:42, where it is part of the Lord’s complaint against Ahab after he lets Ben Hadad go free. Philip Stern argues that the author of Kings uses the word partly to highlight links between Ahab and Saul; though the stories are different, both are accused of releasing a “man of herem .” More interestingly still, Stern suggests that there… Read more

There’s a neat little study of 1 Kings 16:34 (Hiel’s rebuilding of Jericho) in a 1996 issue of Biblica . Charles Conroy, the author, begins with a structural analysis of 1 Kings 16:29-34. He points out that grammatically the passage breaks down into an introductory statement (29a), a summary of the reign of Ahab (29b-33), and a final statement (34). Hiel’s work is mentioned in the final section. Conroy then points to the parallels within the text between Ahab and… Read more

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