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Genres of the Bible

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INTRO

Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible Chapter 29: What Type of Literature Is This?

Before ever launching into a study of a book in the Bible, the first thing a reader needs to know is what that book’s author meant it to be. In other words, what kind of literature was he writing? What literary form did he employ?

Faithlife Study Bible How to Study the Bible

The Bible contains literature at all these levels: some parts any reader can follow, some parts that require help, and some that are difficult enough that even seasoned scholars struggle to comprehend them.

One of the most important aspects of the human side of the Bible is that, in order to communicate his word to all human conditions, God chose to use almost every available kind of communication: narrative history, genealogies, chronicles, laws of all kinds, poetry of all kinds, proverbs, prophetic oracles, riddles, drama, biographical sketches, parables, letters, sermons, and apocalypses.

KEY TERMS

GENRE is a style that characterizes a group of compositions

DANGERS OF GENRE

The Handbook to Bible Study Keeping the Plan of Revelation in View

The individual books are literarily disparate—some authors are Jews, at least one is a Gentile, some are highly educated, others apparently not so at all.

Faithlife Study Bible How to Study the Bible

It is naïve to think that the Bible differs from other literature in being automatically comprehensible, or that our good intentions and love of God will overcome our need to study in order to appreciate the quality of the ideas He has put into writing for us.

TYPES OF GENRE

1) Narrative

5) Exposition

An exposition is a straightforward argument or explanation of a body of objective truth. It is a form of writing that appeals primarily to the mind. The argument usually has a tight structure that moves from point to point in logical fashion.

EXAMPLES: Paul’s Letters, Peter’s Letters, John’s Letter’s

TIP: Look for words such as “For,” “Therefore,” “And,” “But” and “But If”

Expositional books are ideal if you’re just getting started in Bible study

Purpose: Logical Conclusions, Step by Step Applications, Universal Truths

DANGERS OF GENRE

The Handbook to Bible Study Keeping the Plan of Revelation in View

The individual books are literarily disparate—some authors are Jews, at least one is a Gentile, some are highly educated, others apparently not so at all.

The Handbook to Bible Study Keeping the Plan of Revelation in View

The individual books are literarily disparate—some authors are Jews, at least one is a Gentile, some are highly educated, others apparently not so at all.

Paul S. Karleen, The Handbook to Bible Study: With a Guide to the Scofield Study System (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 42.

KEY TERMS

Faithlife Study Bible How to Study the Bible

It is naïve to think that the Bible differs from other literature in being automatically comprehensible, or that our good intentions and love of God will overcome our need to study in order to appreciate the quality of the ideas He has put into writing for us.

DANGERS OF GENRES

Faithlife Study Bible How to Study the Bible

It is naïve to think that the Bible differs from other literature in being automatically comprehensible, or that our good intentions and love of God will overcome our need to study in order to appreciate the quality of the ideas He has put into writing for us.

TIPS FOR GENRES

Beginning Bible students need a method that will work with every genre before they learn the special steps necessary for advanced work

CONCLUSION

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