Lesson 2 | The Bible as Literature


the bible and literature

The Bible includes a great number of types of literature. Some forms of literature describe an entire book. In the Bible the most important of these forms are laws and rules, history, poetry and songs, wisdom sayings and proverbs, Gospels, letters, and apocalyptic writings. Other forms of literature describe sections within a book. The Bible as Literature. by Art Verschoor The Bible is the world’s most important piece of literature, and its literary forms serve a great purpose. How can we better understand that purpose? The influence of the Bible on the development of Western literature is impossible to ignore. There are more than a thousand biblical references in the. Oct 11,  · How to Read the Bible as Literature and Get More Out of It - Kindle edition by Leland Ryken. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading How /5(39).

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There are many angles that can be pursued when thinking about the Bible as literature, but two bedrock questions underlie any discussion of the subject. Those two questions are why we should read the Bible as literature and how we should read it. These are the two questions that I have set before me in this article. The first reason to read the Bible as literature is that it is a work of literature. Because the primary sphere in which the Bible has been read through the ages is the religious sphere, it is easy to be misled into thinking that the Bible is a piece of doctrinal exposition.

This is a misconception. The form in the bible and literature the Bible comes to us is primarily though not completely a literary book. We can see this on a global scale when we look at the overall format of the Bible. That format is the literary anthology—a collection of varied literary genres written by multiple authors over the span of many centuries, the bible and literature.

In its details, too, the Bible is a literary book. Most of it is embodied in the genres the bible and literature narrative, poetry, letters, and visionary writing. Dozens the bible and literature smaller genres accumulate under those big rubrics. Why should we read the Bible as literature? Because its literary format requires it. What are the implications of this?

The literary nature of the Bible opens the way to its being studied as part of the literature curriculum of any school.

This is not the only place in which to locate the academic study of the Bible, but it is the most natural place. Among other considerations, it is useful to note that there is something prototypical about the Bible, the bible and literature. In the Bible we see the essential principles of literature highlighted. This makes the Bible the best possible introduction to literature and its techniques. But is the Bible important literature? In fact, it is the central book of English-speaking cultures throughout the ages, the bible and literature.

It has provided the cohesive frame of reference what some literary scholars would call the mythological universe for England and America. Compared to the Bible, even the collected works of Shakespeare are demonstrably in the second tier. A further dimension of the the bible and literature importance of the Bible is that it is the primary source and influence for English and American literature. I come, then, to my second question: How should we read the Bible as literature?

The answer: we should apply exactly the same methods of literary analysis to the Bible that we use for other literature. This is not to say that the Bible is in every way just like other books. It is rather to say that the literary aspects of the Bible do not require anything different from ordinary tools of analysis.

In the Bible no less than in English and American literature, a story consists of settings, characters, and action. The poetry of the Bible is made up of images and figures of speech, the bible and literature.

The great gift of the literary approach to the Bible for educational purposes is that people of all persuasions can meet on common ground. Click here for reprint permission. Click to Read More and View Comments. Click to Hide. May Cheryl K. Donald Trump. Joe Biden. European Union. Purdue Pharma. Home Advocacy The Bible as literature. By Leland Ryken - - Thursday, December 11, Sign up for Daily Newsletters.

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the bible and literature


Dec 11,  · The first reason to read the Bible as literature is that it is a work of literature. Because the primary sphere in which the Bible has been read through the ages is the religious sphere, it is Author: Leland Ryken. Oct 17,  · You can expand on this definition of literature as you see fit. For more discussion of what literature is and how it applies to the Bible, read the Lesson 1 assignment in How to Read the Bible as Literature. Cain and Abel. Our working definition of literature gives you a . "The Bible as Literature is quite broad in its approach and unique in its scope. I haven't found the same breadth in other recent introductions to the Bible as literature. [It is] concise but thorough, an excellent introduction."--Annalisa Azzoni, Vanderbilt UniversityCited by: