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Giving David His Due. Edition No. 1
VDM Publishing House, June 2009, Pages: 188
Codex Vaticanus and the Masoretic Text witness to two
significantly different texts in 1 Samuel 17–18. But
do both texts reflect literary unity and coherence?
Text-critical analysis shows that the differences in
the texts are not due to translator activity.
However, the evidence is too inconclusive to
determine the textual history of the passage.
Literary-critical analysis focuses on instances of
repetition, contradiction, and accretion attributed
to the MT. Some of these difficulties can be
resolved, but it is evident that the major problem
with the MT is its chronology. A survey of rhetorical
features of the MT reveals the narrator’s creative
use of structure to highlight his content, an
artistic quality that is missing in LXX. The study
also identifies elements of procedural discourse in
16:14-23 that exempt it from a strictly linear
narrative timeframe. This leads to a new
understanding of the chronology of the passage that
resolves the most difficult inconsistencies in the MT
and testifies to its coherence. This work serves as
an example of a multidisciplinary approach to
studying textual difficulties in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Joseph Arthur (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary; MDiv, ThM, Grace
Theological Seminary; BSCE, University of Michigan) serves with
the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism as professor and
dean of the masters department of the Faculdade Batista de
Teologia Logos in São Paulo, Brazil.