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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Jeremiah - Introduction

1.

To read the book of Jeremiah is to enter a colloquy of voices. These voices contend with one another to give meaning to a national tragedy so devastating that it defies simple explanation and rational analysis. Poetry and narrative, metaphor and myth, sermonic exhortation and theological defiance converge in what can seem like a cacophony of non-melodic speech. When expectations of linear development and the search for historical origins are set aside as primary criteria of interpretation, however, a multifaceted conversation emerges from the book. By its very open-ended nature, that conversation moves towards healing and hope for a radiant future.

2.

In current Jeremiah scholarship, issues of critical introduction are greatly disputed and thoroughly intertwined. Unsettled matters include aspects of the book's historical background, audience, dating, history of composition, and relationship to the historical Jeremiah. Summary discussions of these matters follow. Herrmann (1986 ) provides a detailed survey of introductory questions.

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Oxford University Press

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