Should Iron-Age Texts Be Still Read in a Digital Age? The Hebrew Bible and the Power of Metaphor


  • Eugen Pentiuc Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology


metaphor, Hebrew Bible, prophetic perfect, Yahweh, humanity


Hebrew Bible has been used in the past often and almost exclusively to foil a New Testament passage, thus overemphasizing on messianic prophecies, to fuel and defend a dogmatic statement, thus resorting to allegory and typology as the key hermeneutics, or to criticize, (and even demonize) the Jews as Christ haters, while not plumbing the Hebrew Bible for its own identity and intrinsic relevance. In the following lines, I bring forth a few examples of what I call “the power of metaphor of the Hebrew Bible”. And I will do this with deep respect to this literary-religious corpus that has never lost its “best-seller” status, while looking at these ever ancient, ever new biblical texts with the eye of a student of Bible and Semitic philology, but at the same time struggling to listen to the child in me, to return to those days when at my mother’s knees (literally!) I heard for the first time about Noah and the Flood story. What comes next is a brief immersion into the Hebrew Bible theological grammar with no claim whatsoever of ex-cathedra authority in selecting the texts.