PG 496: The David Story: Narrative Approaches

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Module Level

9/10 PhD, MTh, STL Seminar Course

Time Allowance

Second Semester: Ten Two-Hour Seminars


Seminar Attendance, Participation, Reflection Paper (2000 words): 25% / Final 5000-word Paper : 75%

Module Aims

One of the most skillfully-composed narrative sections in the Bible is the story of David in the First and Second Books of Samuel. This module will explore some of the insights gained into this story by a narrative reading of selected sections of the story. Consideration will be given to aspects such as characterization, plot, settings, rhetoric, and viewpoint.

Indicative Syllabus

• The narrative introduction of David: his anointing by Samuel and his conflict with Goliath.

• Stories of rivalry between Saul and David, culminating in Saul’s death and David’s lament.

• David’s conquest of Jerusalem and the promise of an eternal dynasty.

• David’s sin with Bathsheba and his subsequent repentance. • David’s census and his intercession for the people of Israel.


  • Alter, R., The Art of Biblical Narrative. New York: Basic Books, 1981. [221.66 ALT]
  • Auld, G., and E. Eynikel (eds.), For and Against David: Story and History in the Books of Samuel. BETL 232. Leuven: Peeters, 2010. [222.406 GRA]
  • Bar-Efrat, Shimon. Narrative Art in the Bible. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1989. [221.66 BAR]
  • Blenkinsopp, J., David Remembered: Kingship and National Identity in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. [933.02 BLE]
  • Bodner, K., David Observed: A King in the Eyes of His Court. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2005. [222.4092 BOD]
  • Bodner, K., 1 Samuel: A Narrative Commentary. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2008. [222.4307 BOD]
  • Brueggemann, W., David’s Truth in Israel’s Imagination and Memory. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1985. [222.40924 BRU]
  • Gunn, D. M., and D. N. Fewell, Narrative in the Hebrew Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. [221.6 GUN]
  • Gunn, D. M., The Story of King David: Genre and Interpretation. JSOTSup 6. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1978. [222.44066 GUN]
  • Halpern, B., David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001. [222.4067 HAL]
  • Jobling, D., 1 Samuel. Berit Olam. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1998. [222.4306 COT]
  • McKenzie, S., King David: A Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Morrison, C. E., 2 Samuel. Berit Olam. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2013. [221.7 BER II]
  • Sternberg, Meir, The Poetics of Biblical Narrative. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 1985. [809.935 STE]