一般而言，《以斯帖記》這種大膽又細膩的文筆，無論從 文本後、文本中或文本前的研究歷史來看，都是聖經文學中相當特殊的。Bush便認為，《以斯帖記》在敘事的主題與目的上都是藉著一種稱為「問題—解決」（problem - resolution）的模式來作為鋪陳，他稱之為「problem - based plot」。簡言之，《以斯帖記》是透過經文中的情節衝突與人物衝突來進行意識型態上的建構，也可以說《以斯帖記》的核心論述是經由衝突敘事來呈現，而這也正是本文採取敘事批判為進路的原因。從整個衝突的逆轉回頭看，可以發現每一次的關鍵都是一連串的巧合，在這種巧合的引領下，敘事方向跟著產生轉換，忽而緊張、忽而輕鬆，讓敘事的張力獲得充分的發揮。然而，值得注意的是，敘事者藉著巧合所呈現的反諷意味：同樣是在衝突的重要關鍵時刻，同樣是對於衝突的核心角色，但敘事者似乎要表達的是另一種偶然事件背後的歷史必然，亦即對於猶太民族而言的一種信仰意涵—上帝的隱藏與人的顯現。雖然敘事的文字未見上帝任何作為，然而文字的敘事卻清楚訴說著上帝時刻的攝理，因此雖然有學者認為制訂普珥節的過程才是整篇《以斯帖記》的寫作重點，但就衝突美學的探討來看，這段以猶太人的屠殺過程來開始的敘事並不在核心情節的範圍，可以說《以斯帖記》的敘事力道並不在於節期的說明，而在於整個民族於衝突過程所呈現對生死存亡關頭的掙扎，以及其透過人物所凸顯的信仰價值，而這便建構出了猶太社群在艱困生活處境下的特殊神學。事實上，這種不再擁有歷史脈絡，而緊緊依靠著生存意志所建構的身份意識，對於21世紀亞洲處境下的台灣同樣有著深刻的啟示。
As a literary collection of the Diaspora community, the book of Esther has always been questioned theologically. It isn’t even included in the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, the pursuit of ethnical and religious consciousness in it has never been buried in the great torrent of history. In a bold yet exquisite literary writing style, it showed how an oppressed race faced a complex relationship between obedience and resistance, especially in terms of the pursuit of identity.
Generally speaking, the bold yet exquisite writing style found in the book of Esther is a very special one in biblical literature, no matter whether the perspective of the research history is after, within, or before the text. Bush argues that the subject and purpose of the narrative in Esther is stated by way of a mode called “problem-resolution”, which he refers to as a problem-based plot.
In short, the construction of ideology in Esther is established through the conflicts among plots and characters in the text. In other words, the core argument in Esther is expressed through contradictory narrative, and this is why narrative criticism is used as a major approach in this essay. If we look back the reverse of the whole conflict, we may find that each key point is indeed made up of a series of coincidences. Led by such coincidences, the directions of the narrative change back and forth between tension and ease. In this way the tension in the narrative is brought into full play.
What is worth noting, however, is the irony that the narrator shows through the coincidences. The narrator, though at the key moment of conflict and regarding the core character in the conflict, seems to express historically unavoidable consequences behind accidental events, an implication of faith for Jewish people – the concealment of God and the appearance of human beings.
Although we do not find God’s acts in the words in the narrative, the narrative of the words clearly reveals God’s constant care. Some scholars consider the establishment of the Festival of Purim as the main focus of the writing of the book of Esther. However, when it comes to the aesthetics of conflict, the narrative that begins with the slaughter of Jews is not part of the core plot. The power of the narrative does not lie in the explanation of the festival, but in the struggle between survival and downfall that the whole nation face in the midst of conflicts, and in the faith value that is revealed through the characters. This is how a specific theology is developed for the Jewish community under a difficult circumstance. In fact, this kind of identity consciousness that doesn’t have a historical context but depends on the will power to survive brings profound inspiration to Taiwan in the Asian context of the 21st century.