Hidden in Plain Sight: Esther and a Marginalised Hermeneutic

By Robert P. Debelak

Taking as its focus the Old Testament Book of Esther, this exploration of biblical narrative develops a study method that engages directly with the text.

ISBN: 9780718891817


Hidden in Plain Sight explores the potential contours of reading biblical narrative. The Old Testament book of Esther is used to advance a prospective shape for this reading method, and proposes a profile for curriculum design. This work demonstrates that the text of Scripture itself proposes a reading method.

Esther is an underestimated heroine in her story world. Her character is informed by the silent actions of Vashti and by the intentionality of Mordecai. She is confronted with a writing that challenges her with few options, each of which is deconstructed and focused in community dialogue. At a pivotal stage in the narrative, she acts in solidarity with those under a death threat, emerging as an agent of life.

Esther’s actions and speeches are traced as one entry into a story world, proposing a means for students of Scripture to gain appreciable reading skills via sensitivity to the general components of Old Testament narrative. This reading informs a study method enabling direct engagement with a text and appreciation for the art of literary crafting. The approach is suitable for Christian education and biblical study settings at the academic level, and for use in local church ministries.

Additional information

Dimensions203 × 127 mm


Trade InformationLPOD

About the Author

Robert P. Jr Debelak is associate professor of Biblical Studies at Lee University, Cleveland (USA). He is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, and also holds degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, the City Colleges of Chicago, Ohlone College, East Coast Bible College, and the Church of God Theological Seminary.



1. Biblical Story
2. A Reading of Esther
3. Findings
4. Conclusion

Appendix 1: Study Questions on the Text of Esther
Appendix 2: Framing Observations
Appendix 3: Compiling Narrative Observations