Intratextural Analysis of the Mirroring Birth Stories of Samson and Samuel. Explaining the Narrative Logic of Literary Montage

Author: Mollo, Paola
“In this fascinating and scholarly work by Mollo, there is an intellectual weaving of two similar yet different plots, including characters, motifs and wordings and with two distinctive logical conclusions that arguably apply to each other. The aim which is achieved is to reconstruct the literary causes and goals (narrative logic) governing form and content in both accounts, in order to explain how this mirroring effect works to convey meaning to both stories.”
-Dr. Glen Reynolds,
University of Sunderland, UK


“Dr. Mollo’s work on the birth accounts of Samson and Samuel is ambitious, yet commendable. At the outset, her analysis begins with the text as it now stands, instead of starting from a reconstructed stage of literary growth of the text. Such an operational decision reflects her methodological stand to regard the extant text or the final form of the text as the realistic basis for a controlled investigation.”
-Dr. Won W. Lee,
Calvin College, Michigan

“One of the strong aspects of this book is that it condenses into a few pages elements useful for biblical scholars from different backgrounds who employ diverse methodological approaches. This short but important book is very accessible to a diversity of specialist readers…it constitutes a source of original ideas for further research.”
-Professor Pier Giorgio Borbone,
University of Pisa

“This work is a coherent example of using some tools of narrative criticism. From the outset the author does not delve into questions of which text was earlier or which author borrowed from whom. The premise that the given text is the only real text with which to work is commendable. By highlighting similar ideas, themes and expressions, the author takes the reader on a journey through the ideas which formed the religious consciousness of the people of Israel.”
-Dr. Francisco-Javier Ruiz-Ortiz,
Lecturer at Allen Hall,
Catholic University of Leuven

Table of Contents

Foreword: Won W. Lee
– The births of Samson and Samuel
Chapter One: Similarities in both narratives
A. The Future father: a shared label (Judges 13:2a; 1 Samuel 1:1)
B. The sterile mother: theme and variation (Judges 13:2b; 1 Samuel 1:2)
C. The Nazirite child (Judges 13:3-14; 1 Samuel 1:11-18)

Chapter Two: The strategy of the doubling in Samuel’s narrative
A. Different sacrifices (Judges 13: 15-21; 1 Samuel 2:12-17)
B. Predictions of death (Judges 13:22; 1 Samuel 2:25a)
C. “If it had pleased God to kill” – “It pleased God to kill”
Different outcomes (Judges 13:23; 1 Samuel 2:25b)

Conclusion Parallels, techniques and narrative logic
Index of Biblical Characters
Index of Subjects