The testing of our faith: A Pentateuchal theology of testing
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SubjectBible. -- O.T. -- Pentateuch -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Suffering -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
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This dissertation argues that the Pentateuch presents a unified theology of testing which includes the Joseph narrative. Chapter 1 introduces the thesis in the context of the history of the problem in biblical interpretation. Chapter 2 establishes the meaning of "testing" in both biblical and nonbiblical contexts. In addition to establishing a semantic field for "testing," this chapter investigates the ways that "testing" is discussed in the ancient Near East. Chapter 3 applies the observations from chapter 2 and probes the Pentateuch for the way that it presents the motif of testing. Analysis of the biblical texts includes those contexts where testing occurs both implicitly and explicitly. Chapter 4 further investigates the Joseph narrative for the way that it presents the theme of testing. Observations from this analysis are compared to those previously made. Special attention in this chapter is given to the recent work of Walter Moberly and his particular insights into the meaning of "testing" and "fear" and their relationship in the Pentateuch. Chapter 5 provides a summary of the conclusions drawn from this project, as well as suggestions for further research. The primary thrust of this work is to argue that the Pentateuch presents a unified theology of testing and that this unity includes the Joseph narrative. This unity is based on its presentation of the motifs of "testing" and "fear" that shares great similarities with the rest of the Pentateuch.