Features of Biblical Narrative

source: Barry Holtz, Back to the Sources

-- On the surface, a smooth narrative with a recognizable plot

--But a "sticky surface" appears whenever one engages with the narrative

a) details are omitted that we want to know or extraneous material seems thrown in

b) characters' thoughts are concealed; actions and words can have multiple meanings

c) Options are chosen by some of the characters, but consequences don't always become apparent until several story cycles later

d) Wordplay throughout

e) Forward movement of the narrative disturbed by flashbacks, allusions, fade-ins and fade-outs

f) Characters remain in the story only so long as they are useful to the plot

g) Characters appear and disappear abruptly

h) All action is haunted by past actions and points forward to future actions