Inter-Faith Dialogue in the Book of Esther: A Poser for Redaction Criticism
Dr. Luke Emeka Ugwueye

Authors of Sacred texts consist of redactors who use the source materials within their reach to advance theological viewpoints. Two centuries after the exclusive society, advocated by the Ezra-Nehemiah Priestly redactors, generated anti-Semitic prejudice against the Jews, culminating in racial hatred and threat 0f total extinction of the Jewish race, redactors of the book of Esther used the inter-faith marriage of Eshter, a Jewess, to Mordecai, a Persian, to open up inter-faith dialogue to guard against genocide and societal uproar. Redaction through holy writs has a way of influencing interpretation by votaries of religion. It could pitch one religion against another to cause crises. The redaction in the book of Esther clearly defines what appears to be a consensus of the Old Testament as far as inter-faith marriage is concerned. And this thus presents a poser to the entire Old Testament redaction criticism. Beyond that, the book of Esther presents redaction of sacred writings, not as a thing to be given a once-for-all-finished finite perspective, but as a dynamic phenomenon that is ongoing, constantly adapting the demands of faith to the challenges of society, for the ultimate survival of mankind.

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