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For example, see the approach of Carr in Reading the Fractures of Genesis. 26. Stephen J. Lieberman, “Toward a Graphemics of the Tiberian Bible,” in Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew (ed. Walter R. Bodine, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1992), 256. 27. James A. Sanders, “The Task of Text Criticism,” in Problems in Biblical Theology: Essays in Honor of Rolf Knierim (ed. Henry T. C. Sun and Keith L. Eades; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 325–26. 28 Form Criticism and Beyond The approach of the present study may be defined broadly as form critical: “broadly,” because this study takes into account recent developments within and beyond form criticism.

However, this is not always the case. 44 Theme in the toledot formula partakes of both of these senses of theme and rheme. In terms of information structure, the theme is represented by the name of the progenitor who has already been introduced in previous narrative. The rheme is signaled by the word toledot itself. ) The term points ahead to new information: namely, information about the offspring of the theme character. The toledot formula alerts the reader that the narrative will now shift focus from the named progenitor to the offspring of that progenitor.

21 Chapter 1 DEFINING THE TOLEDOT FORMULA: SYNTAX, SEMANTICS, AND FUNCTION In any investigation, one must endeavor to define the subject of the study before one can say much about it. In the case of the current study, the toledot formula is the subject of our study, and so as such must be defined, at least provisionally. In this chapter, we will investigate the nature of the toledot formula according to syntax and semantics, followed by some initial thoughts on its (pragmatic) function. Coming chapters will explore the function of the formula more fully.

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