Old Testament stories and Christian Ethics: Some perspective from the narrative of Judah and Tamar

Esias Engelbertus Meyer, Leonore Pietersen


The relationship between Old Testament narrative and Christian ethics is challenging. When it comes to finding ethical guideline Old Testament narratives are unresponsive. This is particularly the case with a narrative such as Genesis 38. Biblical scholars have written extensively on how the text can be interpreted. In this article we look at the various ways scholars in Biblical Criticism have tried to make sense of the text. We show that narratives can function as a platform for dialogue to mirror the intricacies of life. We do not attempt to resolve the tension between the story and ethics, but rather aim to consider Biblical Criticism as a tool which stimulates ethical debate.


Genesis 38; Ethics; Tamar; Narrative


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