Posts Tagged ‘Bel et Draco’

I am reading a paper in about a week’s time at the SA Association for the Study of the LXX’s Conference in Stellenbosch. The title of this paper is: “Reading ‘Bel and the Dragon’ as Narrative: a comparison between the Old Greek and Theodotion.

The abstract reads as follows:

This paper investigates the narrative character of Bel and the Dragon, using an eclectic model of narrative criticism. Since Bel and the Dragon exists in two Greek traditions, one can compare the way in which these stories are told: e.g., how the characters are portrayed, what point of view the narrator adopts, etc. In comparing these two versions, certain key features of each come to light.

I really think we Protestants should take a second look at the canonicity of Bel and the Dragon (or Snake, or Serpent)! It is a beautiful tale in which the king comes to the realization that Daniel’s God is the only one. This is done with quite some skill, contra what some people have said in the past. The problem with their perspective, if I may be as bold,  is that they simply stuck to historical-critical studies. With a narrative approach, a lot more can be gleaned from the text! One can read the story in the New English Translation of the Septuagint here. In fact, the whole NETS edition can be accessed online, here.

I wish I could post some more on this beautiful tale (tales, really). At the moment, though, things are quite hectic as I have to also prepare for the second conference, a joint conference of Old Testament -, New Testament -, Systematic Theology -, etc. societies in South Africa. It is part of the celebration of the 150th ‘birthday’ of the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch. At this conference, the bigger one of the two, I will be presenting (Deo volente!) a paper entitled: “Pilate’s character: a narratological reading.” Once again, the abstract explains it the best:

This paper investigates Pilate’s character as portrayed in each Gospel by using a combination of narratological theories of character. Each Gospel constitutes its own narrative, with specific emphases. By highlighting the different roles and character traits of Pilate as set forth in each Gospel, some of these emphases will be laid bare.

Perhaps, if time permits, I will post some thoughts on these two topics when I get back!


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