Discovering the Bible’s Interconnected Narratives

January 24, 2023 | Alastair Roberts
About the author:

The opening verse of the book of Esther states that the Persian king Ahasuerus ruled over an empire of 127 provinces. The number 127 occurs in only one other place in the Hebrew Bible: it is the age at which Sarah dies. To Alastair Roberts, this small detail invites readers to see various similarities between the matriarch and the book’s titular heroine. Likewise, the story of David has numerous parallels to that of Jacob, a comparison that, Roberts argues, can illuminate the story’s complex political message. Although Roberts is a Protestant theologian and scholar, his method of reading the Bible by examining similarities among its passages has much in common with the approaches of ancient, medieval, and modern rabbis. In conversation with Rabbi Ari Lamm, he investigates some of these readings. (Audio, 78 minutes.)

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