Milton Konvitz American Ideals Lectures

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Professor Konvitz distinguishes between Homeric and Hebrew literary styles. In the Illiad and Odyssey, everything that Homer wants to say is put in the foreground and externalized. The events and relationships between the mortal characters and the gods are clearly explicated. In the Bible, on the other hand, only so much of the setting and relationships as is necessary is revealed. God is the unknowable, incomprehensible background to the action. God’s motives are seldom revealed and require explanation and interpretation. The stories in the Bible certainly can be explained from the point of view of the senses, but to a man of faith they are the story of the working out of God’s will. Several examples are given to illustrate this.

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