Monica Silber HON 395 Dr. Crain 09 December, 2012 Reading the Bible as Literature. Jeanie C. Crain. Cambridge UK: Polity, 2010, [1-213] Chapter 7 Review The title for Chapter 7 of Reading the Bible as Literature was titled “Themes and Motifs: A Way of Unifying,” In this chapter, Dr. Crain discuss the common themes found throughout the Bible and explains how they work to unify the sixty-six books of the Bible into one cohesive book. I thought this was the perfect way to end the book. Chapter 7 takes all the topics discussed throughout the book Reading the Bible as Literature and shows how they all connect and create a unifying piece of literature. The first thing the chapter looked at was reviewing some terms, like theme and motif, which had been defined in previous chapters. This helps refresh the readers’ memory and gives a clear understanding of the direction this chapter is going to take. Then, Dr. Crain gives some examples of objections to thematic analysis. She said “Literary critics have argued about whether a theme exists in the text, the reader, or the culture of the moment.” The literary critics debate if the focus should be on social connections or rather on the historical aspects of the story. After explaining these objections, the author moves into a section on how the Bible has been traditionally read. Most people read the Bible for its religious aspects and theological themes rather than just looking at it as a piece of literature. Traditionally, the Old Testament has been look at as a guide to the moral instructions of God. Then the New Testament adds to these events, by contributing the acts of Jesus Christ. Next the author intrudes the main topic of the chapter: the major themes within the Bible. Dr. Crain says that the dominant theme throughout the Bible is the divine-human relationship between God and man. This can be broken down into two sections, the relationship man has with God, and the relations ship man has with his fellow men. The first part discussed the Decalogue, which is a name given to the Ten Commandments. These are God’s divine imperatives given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Decalogue’s commandments all fall under one of those two categories of man’s relationships, whether they be to God or another human being. The first few commandments introduce the idea of monotheism. God commands the Israelites that they should have no other gods before Him. The other commandments allude to how human beings are to treat other human beings. Some of these commandments include: Thou shall not steal, thou shall not commit murder, honor thy father and thy mother, etc. The next theme discussed is the Shema. The Shema means “hear” and is used in Deuteronomy 6, “Hear, O Israel the LORD your God is one.” It refers to the call for Israel to be loyal to God and God alone. It points to His sovereignty and asks the Israelites to devote their hearts, minds, and souls to Him alone. Then the author discusses the different covenants made throughout the Bible between God and His chosen people. They are the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, and the Davidic Covenant. After that it discuss God’s mercy and justice. This was probably one of my favorite chapters in the book. I thought Dr. Crain did a nice job tying all the previous chapters together and ending on a good note. Saving the chapter on themes and motifs, and how they unify the Bible for last was a smart decision. It helps the reader understand how all the topics of the previous chapters work together to create themes and unify this piece of literature. It also enables the reader to recognize the common themes of the Bible that were present in stories and examples of previous chapters. I think if this chapter had been placed earlier in the book it would have lost this effect. The terms ‘theme’ and ‘motif’ were defined earlier so the reader knew what they were but weren’t expanded upon until this last chapter.