David A. Lambert – How Repentance Became Biblical


Guest: David Lambert is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his Ph.D., M.A., and A.B. from Harvard University. In addition to articles in leading journals in the field of biblical studies, Judaism, and religion, he has recently published How Repentance Became Biblical: Judaism, Christianity, and the Interpretation of Scripture (Oxford University Press, 2016), which we discuss in this podcast.

Episode Details: In this interview with Matt L., David discusses the way that this book formed him as a scholar, how the book came into being, and the ways biblical scholars might move beyond what he calls a ‘colonizing mode of interpretation’. This colonizing mode of interpretation insists that below the surface of the phenomena represented in the text (e.g., mourning, fasting, or appeal) lies a deeper interior reality (often, repentance). Lambert argues that the oft-noted biblical emphasis on repentance tells us more about us as readers than it does about the biblical text. The interview covers the three major portions of Lambert’s book, and of course, some side paths as well.

How Repentance Became BiblicalThe Book: How Repentance Became Biblical: Judaism, Christianity, and the Interpretation of Scripture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. **For a discount code, click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the document**

We’ll let Carol Newsom’s endorsement, drawn from the OUP website, speak for itself: ‘How Repentance Became Biblical is an intellectually disturbing book in the best sense of the term. In this careful work of intellectual and cultural history Lambert demonstrates the extent to which readers, including scholars, have misunderstood critical aspects of the biblical worldview, culture, and practices by reading the concept of repentance into texts where it is not present. Biblical studies will be grappling with the implications of this transformative work for a long time.’ – Carol Newsom, Emory University

**We are grateful to Oxford University Press for a free interview copy of How Repentance Became Biblical**

2 Replies to “David A. Lambert – How Repentance Became Biblical”

  1. Nelson

    I disagree with Prof. Lambert regarding his statement that repentance was not a part of Jesus’ original message. Mark 1:15 seems to contradict that. I agree that repentance is not a psychological exercise in biblical literature. However, it does involve the recognition of being on a wrong trajectory.

Leave a Reply

Please share the OnScript goodness :)