Matthew J. Lynch, «Neglected Physical Dimensions of “Shame” Terminology in the Hebrew Bible», Vol. 91 (2010) 499-517
Psychological and social paradigms have dominated translations and interpretations of shame terminology in the Hebrew Bible. Scholars often adopt modern notions of shame as either internal feelings of worthlessness or external social sanction, and then apply those notions to the biblical text. I suggest that there is need to reevaluate whether or not such psychological and social frames are appropriate to biblical terminology of shame. My essay contends that shame terms, such as #$wb, Mlk, and their cognates and synonyms, frequently denote the experience of 'diminishment' or 'harm' in ways far more physical than typically reflected in modern renderings.