Tag Archives: Wisdom literature

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

Home-stayers and their to do list

After “Day after day having reprogrammed the mind to see good, think good, feel good and be good” people would like to have some time off, not feeling to have to worry about anything.

Many people have the impression that they always have to conquer a battle. So many are bothered by thoughts of fear, thoughts of having to gain places and to proof oneself. Thoughts of striving should outweigh thoughts of struggling.

You’re not made to crawl, you’re made to walk, run and fly. {Simple nugget of truth!!!!……..}

Summer Holiday (album)

Summer Holiday (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and at holiday-time people feel like liberated from the daily struggles.

Sometimes people feel like that others want to pull them down.

If you were not a threat to anyone then they wouldn’t bother putting you down. If you were not on the right track then they wouldn’t work so hard to throw you off. {You believe you???….}

When leaving the own environment people do feel safer and do not worry so much encountering people who would try the same as those they see nearly every day. They would be surprised when they would get to know them better and longer.

Much too often people allow the opinions of others to become their reality of self.

Much to often people let others crawl over them and let others empower them. Often they do not have enough energy or background to react in the right way.

English: A girl lost in her thoughts!

A girl lost in her thoughts! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holiday time may be a good period to recharge and take in new energy. It is also the time which can be used to read wise words which can help to be standing strong in this world were evil is all around.

When everybody seems to be relaxing there are the many people who take care that others can enjoy their holiday and then there are the fathers and mothers who try to do their best to keep the kids happy.

A working mom in a small town writes:

I see all the pinterest posts of fun things to do in the summer. I see all my friends (and acquaintances) posting their time at the lake, at the pool, doing all the fun things summer is meant for.

But being a working mom makes things a little different. Living on an acreage comes with more responsibilities. Living within our means (well trying at least) puts a dollar sign on every activity. Being a mom that respects (demands) sleeping and eating schedules for my kids, makes things harder. {Summer Time & Being a Working Mom is Hard}

Though those who do not have the means to go far away on a trip for several days, can also enjoy the little things, and even more than those who could have everything at their hands.

Having breakfast, lunch, and supper outside can already be a thrill. Setting up the sprinkler near the swingset and slide may be a great way to spend the afternoon with everybody enjoying each-others company. Having the feeling that every body is there to be with each other, ready to spend several great moments outdoors, with or without adventurous happenings makes the days great and to remember. Also here snapshots can be a memory of those family days.

Today too many people do not know to appreciate the small things in life. Many even say ‘holiday’ and think ‘travelling’. Several people do find that they did not have a holiday when they stayed at home or in the family. Lots of people do not see the nice part of all those small or little things which are free or inexpensive and can fit into busy schedules of homework.

Summertime is hard especially when you try to live up to other people’s pictures and lives. Make it simple and do your own thing. Take away the guilt and be happy that the little things make your child smile. You don’t have to spend a lot, take an extravagant trip, or go too far to make your little one smile. {Summer Time & Being a Working Mom is Hard}

Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having lazy mornings, in-between the home work just taking some time off to go for a walk or to play. Not so much worrying for a moment that the house is (already) clean, the supplies are already stocked and you just looking around from your easy chair. That also is enjoying Summer.

Summer is the high-time to love for the songs the birds sing, the brightly coloured flowers we can see and smell, and the warm sunshine that touches our skin.

Sometimes, you might just have to let the ant, singular or plural, crawl along your hand, foot, leg, arm, maybe even up your back or across your neck. Let the fiendishly seeming and feeling little insect decide. {Rejected experiences}

In lots of places there are different events to please the people who did not go away. Art galleries, people selling other crafts at local fairs, street performances, community games, a.o.. In several places there are so many outdoor activities and attractive events, with so many interesting restaurants or eating outdoors pop-up restaurants and cafés that people have to make an “our to-do list“.

There is so much to do and so much to undergo. And

Experience is what makes life worthwhile after all, so why not try and take as much of it in as possible? {Rejected experiences}

Now the sun gives us longer enough light to sit outside and enjoy the sound of the birds or river, we should also find some time to take the Book of books, finding interesting stories or beautiful poetry and great wisdom with a lot of proverbs.

There are may who seriously think they have no God or gods, whilst others are convinced that we do not live in a godless society.

We do not live in atheism, we do not live in agnosticism. Our world has many gods, one mightier than the other – if you wagered that we count more gods today than even the Greek or Roman did in their polytheism, you would not be wrong, and your money well placed. {A different perspective}

The housewives and housemen who have no facilities to go away on holiday and look at those who can go away may not forget that their money does not necessary makes them happy.

The select few to escape the grasp of money to some measure are shunned, exiled, pitied under the names of madmen, anarchists, punks, third-world countries, simply poor.

Money however is a very punitive god, one that leads to one’s own destruction. Possessing this god, or rather having this god and being possessed by it, leads one to want to amass more of it. Money buys things,  therefore money has value. {A different perspective}

But that value is temporarily.We better go for better value which stays for ever. That eternal value and true treasure can be found in the Bible. It is a book which can give colour and light at the darkest moments of the day and at the darkest moments of your life. Everywhere it can bring the rainbow and the live giving light.

Why not taking some time to read the Bible now you do not have to go at work?
Perhaps you might start by reading the poetry and wisdom books: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs and compare the events of your life with the events in Job his life.

Though compiled centuries before the modern scientific endeavour, we can find serious and good easy to understand explanations. The Bible offers us a collection of sayings and truisms which should not be boring to read, because they are presented in a variation of styles, poetic and memorable.

That holy book does not have to be so perplexing or difficult to understand as many want you to believe. It is by holding fast to human doctrines that it might be difficult to understand. When you throw overboard all those false teachings and let the words of the Bible say what they say black on white, than there is not such a problem at all. Therefore just try to read what is written in it and when it says for example ‘son of man‘ do think a son of a human being and do not think ‘the God’ or something else. The same when there is written ‘son of God‘ do not think ‘god the son‘ or ‘god son‘ but understand that it is all about a or the ‘son of God‘ or ‘God’s son‘. When you read the Bible that way you shall find out that everything from the Old Testament fits clearly well in with the New Testament, like a jigsaw puzzle.

Try it!

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Preceding articles:

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

A little ray of sunshine

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Additional reading:

  1. Struggles of life
  2. Are you being swept along by the world
  3. Looking at things, distinctions resolutions and expressions
  4. Let you not be defined by the effect of your wrong choice
  5. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  6. Voice for the plebs
  7. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  8. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go.
  11. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  12. True riches
  13. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  14. Count your blessings
  15. Change
  16. This was my reward
  17. Good to make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy
  18. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  19. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  20. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  21. Believing what Jesus says

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Find also to read:

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Several quotes about wisdom

Many words are said and written down in the world, but how many are inspired by wisdom?

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  1. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  2. Words in the world
  3. The Tongue an Outlet
  4. Loving the Word
  5. Answering a fool according to his folly
  6. Honour your own words as if they were an important contract
  7. Think before you speak
  8. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  9. For attractive lips, speak words of kindness
  10. Growth in character
  11. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  12. How should we preach?
  13. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. Feed Your Faith Daily
  16. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  17. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  18. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  19. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  20. Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it
  21. Wisdom lies deep
  22. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  23. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  24. Prophets making excuses

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  • Proverbs 1 (chaptersone.wordpress.com)
    Proverbs 1:1-6 describes the purpose of the book of Proverbs: to attain wisdom, discipline, insight, prudence, rightness, justice, fairness, discretion, guidance, learning, and understanding. Verse 7 seems to use the term “knowledge” as a synonym of wisdom saying “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. And verse 33 says “whoever listens to [wisdom] will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Very often each verse of Proverbs is a mini-sermon by itself, with a line about wisdom beside a line about foolishness. For example, Proverbs 10:14, “Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” A good habit would be to read one verse of Proverbs a day, and meditate on it.
  • Weekend Wisdom: Live In Peace With One Another (joyreturns.com)

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

    Jimi Hendrix
  • The Wisdom of Peace (whyjesusministries.wordpress.com)
    James 3:17 (NIV)
    17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
  • Weekend Wisdom: Be Devoted To One Another (joyreturns.com)

    Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.

    Mary McLeod Bethune
  • A Practical And Experiential Overview of Romans by Robert Haldane (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    The attributes of God, especially His holiness and justice, when viewed through any other medium than that of the Gospel, strike terror into the heart of man, and lead him, like Adam, to hide himself among the trees of the garden. But these attributes, in themselves so terrible to the guilty, are, through the merciful appointment of the mediation of our heavenly Surety, pledged for the deliverance of the Christian, and for his eternal salvation.
  • Several quotes about wisdom. (closetoeighty.wordpress.com)
    Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.  ~Norman Cousins
  • 03 March 16, 2014, Proverbs 8-9 & James 3, Listen To Wisdom’s Invitation (slideshare.net)
  • Being sure of their deliverance (christadelphianworld.blogspot.com)
    They were sure that the divine Creator was with them and would continuously guide them through easy but also through difficult times.
  • Holding Fast the Name of Jesus (jlue.wordpress.com)
  • God?…Dis is Larry. (pastij.wordpress.com)
    I am just beginning to iron out my thoughts, and eventually, to be able to think this through with more of a clear-mind, and not just dozens of Christian clichés that don’t give adequate explanation for what I am doing. I want a solid foundations, and not that I don’t think that clichés aid in understanding, because I think that underneath the cliché is wisdom. I want to dig down to get the gold. Wisdom is better than gold. I want to use my mind, not to explain God as a scientist explains matter, I think its more like a child trying to explain his father. I can’t do it. But I will try.    Yes, God’s wisdom is not wisdom as the world sees it. And it is true that “God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise”.  BUT, this does not mean that God’s wisdom does not make sense. In fact, it makes perfect sense, unlike my explanation of it, which can never be perfect. If this is confusing to you, don’t stress.  It is confusing to me as well, but I do believe that I am going somewhere with this, though I may not know where.Everything that I understand about God has been taught to me by people in my life. These people were taught by people as well. The reason that I trust them? Well, it is difficult to explain, but I want to try, because there is a reason that makes sense, I just haven’t been able to put it into words yet.

    The fact that there is some consistency in what I have been taught is comforting, and the belief in the Word of God as authoritative gives me a foundation to build from. That being said, many people who treat the Bible with authority have a lot of crazy ideas that do not make sense. For example, the Klu Klux Klan and the Westboro Baptist Church. So then, there is this other factor called interpretation.

    This is more of the beginning of a discussion than it is me trying to explain anything.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.  ~Isaac Asimov

It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it.  ~A.A. Hodge

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.  ~Norman Cousins

Wisdom comes by disillusionment.  ~George Santayana

Wisdom outweighs any wealth.  ~Sophocles

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Filed under Knowledge & Wisdom, Quotations or Citations, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs