In reading the literary rhetoric of the Book of exodus Kurle uncovers new insights in the author's purposes.
The unique work undertakes to interpret the Book of exodus as a whole in terms of its rhetorical aims. The approach is distinguished from traditional critical readings in focussing not on the origin of the texts, nor on the theological specifics of putative sources, but on the text understood as having a coherent rhetorical strategy. It is also distinguished from expressly theological readings of the book. Kurle proceeds by considering, Yahweh, Moses and Israel as 'characters' in the literary sense, and exploring how the text operates through them on its 'implied readers'. Thus the particular focus is on the functional aspects of the text which direct the reading process and thus guide the reader in the perception of the ideas, concepts and stories presented.
'The book of exodus is the foundation for Israel's identity in its relation to God and part of the foundation of Jewish-Christian ethics. In The Appeal of Exodus Stefan Kurle offers a thorough, exegetically profound and pleasantly readable study using a functional-synchronic approach with a rhetorical-critical analysis. He concentrates completely on what the biblical text itself presents, looking at the persuasive nature of that text and presupposing an implied reader who has a certain knowledge of his own history. In the same manner the modern reader will be able to sense Israel's exciting journey from the oppressive slavery in Egypt to God's presence at Sinai.' Walter Hilbrands, Dean of studies, Giessen School of Theology, Germany