Details for Esther
Esther is a female character in the Old Testament who outwits her enemies in a deadly game of palace politics. In a thoughtful examination of Esther, we discover that it is a book rich in wonder, mystery, and artistic literary expression. The excellent Hebrew narrative of Esther, with its twists and turns, continues to make it a favourite book for many of us today. This unit will take you into the Persian world of Esther, and its post-exilic context. We will particularly explore with Esther ‘where is God?’ - for this narrative is crafted in such a way that the name of the LORD is never mentioned, yet God is present in every situation.
- Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
- Paper code: BIB313
- Credit points: 15
- Total workload hours per week: 10
- Number of timetabled hours per week: 4 *
BIB101 – Narrative of the First Testament
The following courses are prerequisites:
The paper Esther is part of the subject area Biblical Studies and is offered as a part of the following Awards: Bachelor of Contemporary Ministry (New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)).
This paper is an examination of the book of Esther and its narrative world.
Students should be able to:
- Analyse the historical, theological, social and ethical concerns of Esther
- Assess and apply various methods in interpreting Hebrew narrative
- Apply exegetical skills to provide sustained and extended argument on the interpretation of Esther
- Explain the relevance of the book of Esther and apply it to contemporary Christian life
- Historical background to Esther and interpreting Hebrew narrative
- Critical approaches to Esther
- Exegesis of selected passages
- Theological reflections on Esther
- Contemporary applications
This course may be offered in the following formats
Lectures, tutorials, group work, online engagement
Major essay (50%, 2500 words); Exegetical Essay (30%, 1500 words); Forum Postings (20%, 2500 words)
Amit, Y. Reading Biblical Narratives: Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001.
Barr, J.. History and Ideology in the Old Testament: Biblical Studies at the end of the Millennium. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Bar-Efrat, S. Narrative Art In The Bible. UK:T. & T. Clark Publishers, 2004.
Beal, T.K. The Book of Hiding: Gender, Ethnicity, Annihilation, and Esther. Biblical Limits, London: Routledge, 1997.
Berlin, A. “The Book of Esther and Ancient Storytelling”. Journal of Biblical Literature 120:1 (2001): 3-15.
Brenner, A. (ed). A Feminist Companion to Esther, Judith and Susanna. London: T & T Clark, 2005.
Bush, F.W. Ruth, Esther. WBC, Nashville: Word, 1996.
Campbell, A. F. ‘The Storyteller’s Role: Reported Story and Biblical Text’, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 64 (2002): 427-441.
Dalley, S. Esther’s Revenge at Susa: From Sennacherib to Ahasuerus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Fox, M.V. Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther. 2nd ed. Columbia: USCP, 2001.
Fuchs, E., Sexual Politics in the Biblical Narrative: Reading the Hebrew Bible as a Woman. JSOTS 310. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2000.
Groden, M., Kreiswirth, M., and Szeman, I. (eds), The Johns Hopkins Guide To Literary Theory & Criticism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.
Gunn, D. M. and Fewell, D. N. Narrative in the Hebrew Bible. Oxford Bible Series, Oxford: OUP, 1993.
Hacham, N., “3 Maccabees and Esther: Parallels, Intertextuality, and Diaspora Identity”, Journal of Biblical Literature,126:4 (Winter 2007): 765-785.
Heitzig, L. and Pierce Rose, P. Pathway to God’s Plan: Ruth and Esther. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2002.
Jobes, K.H. Esther. NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.
Klein, Lillian R., From Deborah to Esther: Sexual Politics in the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003.
McGeough, K., “Esther the Hero: Going beyond "Wisdom" in Heroic Narratives”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 70:1 (Jan 2008): 44-65.
Walsh, J. Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrative. Collegeville, Liturgical Press, 2001.
Wooton, J. “For such a Time as This: The Timeliness of the Book of Esther.” International Congregational Journal 6:2 (2007): 21-30.
Currents in Biblical Research
Journal for the Study of Old Testament
Journal of Biblical Literature