In this series of essays ; we learn the nature of the science and art of interpreting the bible. A lot of people don't realize that the bible is to be interpreted as to the same things we learned in journalism class, or english class. The Who, What, Where, Why and How questions tell us what the authors intended. On one hand the bible is a “normal” book. Its been compiled, has a purpose, a history, a beginning, middle and end if you will... etc.. On the other hand, the bible is definitely NOT a “normal” book at all. Beneath the surface of the gospels and historical clashes and miracles lies complexity. The sheer amount of genre within its 66 books is mind blowing. The rules of context that we ...view middle of the document...
I am convinced that the 20th century church does not grasp this concept based on its overly dramatic and non scriptural leanings on topics such as eschatology. One thing to keep in mind is that the bible does not even take itself literally in the modern vernacular. Thus when we are making something metaphorical in to something wooden we are cheapening the value of the word. Much of the bible that we mistake for being literal is narrative, poetry, wisdom and apocalyptic. Many times there is a smaller specific picture being painted at the same time we can use the rules of interpretation to discover the bigger picture being presented. Never replace the bigger picture with the smaller one.
Narrative and poetry play a huge part in the framework of the bible. We have to understand these genres in order to properly interpret the allegory and metaphor that we see in the text.
A lot of people don't realize but the Old Testament has a very discernable from book to book. We might flip through and think its just a random collection of stories but if we organize it we can see its very selective on purpose. Since the entire bible is basically a story of redemption, we apply its overall message to the backdrop. Jesus and his work is the lens with which we interpret it.
For example, 39 separate books that show us over and over through law, historical narrative, poetry and prophecy the same themes... sin, fallenness, religious whorishness; consequences; than grace, mercy, redemption and sacrifice... The historical narrative for example shows extremely selective highlights. Not all of these are prescriptive either, many are simply descriptive. Given these framework ideals, it’s not too hard to see the cohesive message which sums up the Old Testament.
The general structure of the bible is overall broken into 7 genres of parts.
Law ; The tabernacle ; Proverbs ; Psalms ; Prophets ; Gospels ; Apocalyptic Genres
First there is the Law which is comprised of the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The law shows the people of God how he wanted them to live and to show him to the nations as examples. It also illustrates mans need for a savior due...