Samuel and His God
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
Title Page, Copyright
Series Editor’s Preface
Critical study of the Bible in its ancient Near Eastern setting has stimulated interest in the individuals who shaped the course of history and whom events singled out as tragic or heroic figures. Rolf Rendtorff’s Men of the Old Testament (1968) focuses on the lives of important biblical figures as a means of illuminating history, ...
This book owes its existence to James L. Crenshaw. He taught me much of what I know about biblical scholarship and also specifically requested that my 1999 book, David: Biblical Portraits of Power, be followed by an additional volume on Samuel. Most of the writing took place during a research leave granted by the trustees of Christian Theological Seminary. ...
Samuel in the Bible
Chapter 1: Introduction
The prophet Samuel’s story is told mostly in the first sixteen chapters of the book of 1 Samuel. Beginning with Samuel’s birth in the first chapter, 1 Samuel goes on to describe how Samuel grows up as servant to the priest Eli, whom he eventually replaces as the primary mediator between Lord1 and Israel. ...
Chapter 2: Sources of the Samuel Stories
Today we read stories about the prophet Samuel in the 1 Samuel subunit of a larger book we call “the Bible.”1 The fact that Samuel’s story is biblical invokes a whole set of assumptions and expectations. For starters, although the English word “Bible” comes from the Greek phrase ta biblia, which means “the books” (plural), the English word “Bible” is singular. ...
Chapter 3: The Many Roles of Samuel
In previous chapters I have referred to Samuel as a “prophet.” However, this word is used only sparingly for him in the book of 1 Samuel itself. First Samuel 3:20 tells us that “all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.” First Samuel 9 refers to him as a “seer,” with an explanatory note in 9:9 ...
Chapter 4: The Problematic God of Samuel
The survey of Samuel and his roles has revealed a consistent emphasis on Samuel’s standing as a spokesperson for Lord. He receives revelation by vision and word, ending an era in which such revelation has been rare (1 S 3). He announces the withdrawal of divine support from particular families and individuals ...
Chapter 5: A Sequential Reading of Samuel
Chapters 2 through 4 examined some probable layers in the composition of the book of 1 Samuel, the roles commonly ascribed to the character Samuel, and how God is depicted in the Samuel stories. With this as background, we turn at last to the most obvious strategy for understanding Samuel: a sequential journey through his story. ...
Chapter 6: Samuel, His God, and Us
The story of Samuel unsettles many common assumptions about the Bible, its prophets, and its God. In the first chapter, I mentioned a youth minister who chose 1 Samuel 3 as the sermon text for his ordination. He wanted to make the point that God has purposes even for children. He trimmed the reading to omit what God actually says to Samuel. ...
Hebrew Word Index
About the Author
Marti J. Steussy is the MacAllister-Petticrew Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Steussy is the author of two science fiction novels and three previous books in biblical studies, ...