Does the Bible allow us to deceive? Is it ever right to lie? These are perennial questions that have been discussed and debated by theologians for centuries with little consensus. Entering this conversation, Just Deceivers provides a fresh analysis of this important topic through a comprehensive examination of the motif of deception in the books of Samuel. While many studies have explored deception in other Old Testament texts - especially the patriarchal narratives of Genesis - and a few articles have initiated examination of this motif in Samuel, Just Deceivers builds upon this groundwork and offers an exhaustive treatment of this theme in this important portion of the Hebrew Bible. Newkirk takes the reader through the books of Samuel, investigating every occurrence of deception in the narrative, exploring how the author depicts these various acts of deception, and then synthesising the results to offer an exegetically based theology of deception. In so doing, this study both challenges commonly held views concerning the Bible's stance on falsehood and illustrates the importance of attending to the sophisticated literary character of biblical narrative.
Matthew Newkirk (PhD, Wheaton College) is Professor of Old Testament at Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan.
List of Tables Foreword by Daniel I. Block Acknowledgements Abbreviations 1 Introduction 2 Deception in the Explicit Statements of the Old Testament 3 Deception Intended to Prevent Death or Harm in the Books of Samuel 4 Deception Intended to Cause Death or Harm in the Books of Samuel 5 Deception Intended to Benefit Someone Else in the Books of Samuel 6 Deception Intended to Benefit the Deceiver in the Books of Samuel 7 Conclusion Bibliography Scripture Index