Religious Studies | King David in Myth & History
R410 | 3982 | Weitzman

A warrior also known as Israel's greatest poet, a ruler chosen by God
but also accused of murder and adultery, King David is one of the
most complex figures to emerge from the Bible. This course explores
David as both an historical figure and mythical character. What do
scholars know about the real David and what impact did he have on
Israelite history? Why does the story of David in 1-2 Samuel rank as
one of the great literary masterpieces of world literature? And how
did the highly flawed king described in this work become the
idealized figure celebrated as the author of the Psalms and the
ancestor of the messiah? In seeking answers to these questions, we
will survey a number of issues of concern in recent biblical
scholarship: the reliability of the Bible as an historical source;
the art of biblical narrative; and the meanings projected onto the
Bible by later interpreters and story-tellers.