Tag Archives: Bible genres

The Need to Understand Genre

When we look at the Book of books, the Bible, as we said in the previous article, it is important to take the words and genres as they are written down and passed on from one generation unto the next.

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating printed pages as a storage medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God is a God of order and did not give His Words in such a form that ordinary people would not be able to understand it. It is written so that every person can get wisdom out of it.
It is true it is not directly written for us in this time, but has to be looked at writings for those times when those people were living in total different conditions than we now.

God has communicated His message to special individuals over thousands of years. But he wrote first for them, in their time and in their culture. He preserved the message for us, but it was first written to another people in another time. {The Bible is simple… right?}

In the knowledge that they had a  different cultural background to us, we should look at those writings from that standpoint.

The original audience was an ancient one. They knew nothing of the science, technology, medicine, and other things that define our modern world. They knew little of democracy, and literacy was not widespread. It is only in the modern era, from perhaps the 18th century onwards, that literacy has been common. Even today literacy is not as widespread as it should be. Consider then that the original audience most commonly would have heard rather than read the text! {The Bible is simple… right?}

As such the text often was intended to be of a format that people could easily remember. For this reason stories instead of literal or scientific reviews of happenings were a good way. Most important for the Biblical writers was to bring over the message of God. To convey His message and to bring it in such a way people at that time could understand it. Therefore we also should look for the intentions of the writing and for what is being emphasised in the passages.

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.

To interpret properly the “then and there” of the biblical texts, one must not only know some general rules that apply to all the words of the Bible, but one also needs to learn the special rules that apply to each of these literary forms (genres). The way God communicates the divine word to us in the “here and now” will often differ from one form to another. For example, we need to know how a psalm, a form often addressed to God, functions as God’s word to us, and how certain psalms differ from others, and how all of them differ from “the laws,” which were often addressed to people in cultural situations no longer in existence. How do such “laws” speak to us, and how do they differ from the moral “laws,” which are always valid in all circumstances? Such are the questions the dual nature of the Bible forces on us.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Fourth Edition.; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014), 26–27.

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Preceding articles:

Genre – Playing by the Rules

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

Home-stayers and their to do list

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Additional reading:

  1. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  2. The faithful God
  3. Have you also been deceived
  4. Increased in wisdom in favour with God
  5. The very very beginning 2 The Word and words
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  8. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  9. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  10. Background to look at things

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Filed under Religious affairs

Genre – Playing by the Rules

English: religion - composition old bible book...

English: religion – composition old bible books from Hungary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taking up the Bible, a Book of books, we should always remember that it were men chosen by God to write down His Words to help find people the way to live and to give them a stronghold.

Important by looking at those books and letting those words coming unto us, we should always remember what their purpose was and is, plus in which style they were written, always understanding the genre it was meant to be.

Also what we should care for is not to be carried away by human teachings or human doctrines. They often make it more difficult to come to a correct insight and easy understanding. Most people are afraid to put away those false teachings and human traditions, which becomes a hindrance to come to a good insight. Though God always has protected His Words and no matter whatever translation a person is using he or she can come to insight when he or she is willing to open his or her heart to God His Words. that is the primordial act to do, letting God speak to you.

We also may never forget that we are created in the image of God and have an inner voice leading us through life.

Enjoy the reading of several Bible books this Summer and let them bring light in your life.

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Preceding:

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Inner voice inside the soul of man

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

Home-stayers and their to do list

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Additional reading:

  1. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  2. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  3. Are you looking for answers and Are you looking for God
  4. Counterfeit Gospels
  5. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  6. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  8. Background to look at things
  9. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  11. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  12. Illuminating our minds and watching out
  13. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  14. Reminding myself!!
  15. Our Inner Voice
  16. Inner Voice

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Biblical Cogitations

Bible Genres Genres in the Bible (adapted from “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth” by Fee and Stuart).

The Bible is more of a library than a book! It contains literature of all different genres and types. Just as you wouldn’t read a novel the same way that you read your new employment contract, we can’t read every passage of scripture the same way. We need to pay attention to the genre of the passage we’re looking at and make sure we appreciate the tools that particular genre uses to communicate. One writer uses the analogy of a board game:

… there are different “game” rules involved in the interpretation of the different kinds of biblical literature. The author has played his “game,” has sought to convey his meaning, under the rules covering the particular literary form he used. Unless we know those rules, we will almost certainly misinterpret his meaning…

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Filed under Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Uncategorized