The Jacob tôledôt and plot
: An exploration of narrative continuity in Genesis 37:2-50:26 according to Ricoeurian Mimesis

  • Paul Twiss

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis offers an exploration of narrative continuity in the Jacob tôledôt, In response to recent source critical arguments that espouse discontinuity by focusing on the concept of plot, a more nuanced understanding of these properties is developed and applied to Gen 37:2-50:26.

Paul Ricoeur's philosophical work, Time and Narrative, serves as a foundation for the derivation of an interpretive model that appeals to mimesis as the inherent predicate of plot. Drawing in turn on Aristotelian muthos, a threefold rubic is affirmed that gives head to a narrative's hermeneutical consciousness while also acknowledging the intended communicative effect. The result is a greater affirmation of narrative continuity in the Jacob tôledôt that challenges recent sources critical conclusions imply.

By pursuing a more developed understanding of the relationship between plot and narrative continuity, this thesis offers and interpretation of the Jacob tôledôt that challenges recent source critical conclusions. Certainly, further research might allow for a better apprehension of mimesis as it pertains tot he Pentateuchal text. However, the application of Ricoeur's theory of narrative proves to elucidate greater lines of continuity than diachronic reading strategies have allowed. A continuous plot-structure for the Jacob tôledôt is affirmed, wherein every episode makes a necessary contribution to the whole: a story that perpetuates the anticipation of a royal deliverer and beckons the reader to participate in this hope.
Date of AwardDec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsThe Master’s Seminary
SupervisorThomas Alexander (Supervisor) & William Campbell (Supervisor)


  • Joseph
  • Judah
  • Jacob Toledot
  • plot
  • Ricoeur
  • Mimesis
  • Gen 37-50

Cite this