The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel, by Robert Alter
Robert Alter's contribution to current scripture studies has been immense and defining. Alter, who is professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, possesses a rare combination of interpretive gifts. He has both a sensitive ability to work with Hebrew and an artistic sensibility that allows him to grasp the aesthetic workings of a text without excessive or premature theological judgment. Alter's The Art of Biblical Narrative (1981) and The Art of Biblical Poetry (1985) have had a vital influence on the methods and perspectives of the "literary study" of the Bible—an approach that has opened ways of reading and interpreting scripture unavailable to the dominant methods of historical criticism.