1st Edition

A Prototype Approach to Hate and Anger in the Hebrew Bible

By Deena Grant Copyright 2023

    This innovative book applies findings from the field of cognitive linguistics to the study of emotions in the Hebrew Bible. The book draws on the prototype approach to conceptual categories to help interpret emotion language in biblical passages. Contemporary scholarship has come to recognize that biblical emotion terms do not necessarily possess exact equivalents within our modern lexicons, even if some of these terms express (or appear to express) concepts similar to those conveyed by modern emotion language. In particular, the book focuses on sn’ and ḫrh, which are almost always equated in modern English with hate and anger. However, the ancient Hebrew roots evoke varied and robust emotion-scripts that are quite different than their English counterparts. We see how the prototype script model may help to expose the unique nuances of sn’ and ḫrh and put into profile elements of these emotions that may otherwise go unnoticed. Overall, the study demonstrates that even though modern emotion terms cannot fully capture the ancient emotional experience, our shared use of language to evoke meaning offers us entrée into the emotional world represented in the Hebrew Bible.

    1 Introduction

    2 Discerning Modern Hate and Anger Scripts

    3 Broad Biblical Sn’-Script

    4 Narrative Sn’-Scripts

    5 Poetic and Prophetic Sn’-Scripts

    6 Broad Biblical Ḥrh-Script

    7 Narrative Ḥrh-Scripts

    8 Divine Ḥrh-Scripts in Old Poetry and in the Prophets

    9 Conclusion



    Deena E. Grant is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, USA.