MA Thesis – “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation”

Somehow I don’t think this is what Joseph looked like. Or the angel, for that matter.

It is interesting to me that the most viewed publication of mine on is my master’s thesis, “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation: A Study of the Stylistic and Rhetorical Features of the Dreams in the Joseph Narrative.” This was submitted for approval 20 years ago this May. (I submitted my dissertation on “The Midrash of the Ten Songs” for my Graduate Diploma [now MSt] to the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the same time. Portions of that was later was published as an article in JSJ.)

You can find the MA thesis on the site of right here (warning, 14MB). I will be honest, I have not looked at the content of that thesis since I submitted it. It may be incredibly embarrassing or insightful. I am not sure which.  (I had forgotten that I introduced “an approach.” Wow. That is pretty arrogant. I wonder if it is any good…. I wonder if I still use that approach without realizing it.) Feel free to offer your assessment or comments below.


This thesis introduces stylistic approach, a method of approaching the biblical text which seeks to understand and appreciate the material within its canonical context while applying appropriate critical tools so that the text can be interpreted and applied for use by today’s church. Stylistic approach is then applied in a detailed stylistic and rhetorical analysis of the six dreams found within the Joseph Narrative. The study focuses upon these dreams as a stylistic feature being used by the author in order to enhance the meaning of the narrative and to move the plot forward.

I still find Genesis to be one of the most engaging and interesting books in the Bible. The only problem so does just about everyone else. That makes it awfully tough to say anything truly new or to contribute significantly to the academic discussion. Perhaps this will contribute something to the discussion, if even only a little light entertainment.

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