Friday, November 06, 2009

Want to Read More about Hebrew Literature?

The poetry of the Hebrews has a structure which is both complex and subtle.

Robert Lowth published his Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews in 1787. The book remains in print today. Lowth was educated as a classicist, and explains Hebrew poetry by constant reference to Greek and Latin poetry, thoroughly comparing and contrasting the Classical and Sacred literary forms. He advanced the thesis, never serious doubted since then, that almost all Hebrew poetry is formed in parallelisms, couplets of parallel structure. Lowth was an Anglican Bishop.

George Buchanan Gray wrote The Forms of Hebrew Poetry in 1915. It also remains available in modern reprints. Gray refined Lowth's classifications, and developed ingenious readings of texts which had been previously been seen as corrupt and readable only with major emendations; Gray deduced principles of Semitic poetry which allowed these texts to be sensibly read without emendation. Gray was a Non-Conformist clergyman.