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MelindaB

Reading Maketh a Full Man...

More to come...

Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

How to Read the Bible as Literature

How to Read the Bible as Literature - Leland Ryken This was a very worthwhile book for me to read. Many "styles" of reading and studying the Bible involve a "vertical" method. You take a topic and dig deep down, or study a passage verse by verse. (The pastor in the church I grew up with taught this way and would take several years to teach through a book of the Bible. Rich teaching!!) While this is a very valid and useful way to read and study scripture (and I dearly love it!), it is also worthwhile to study the BIble using more "horizontal" methods. For example, read an entire book of the Bible from start to finish to see the big picture of that book, indeed read the entire Bible from beginning to end in 30 days or so, or find common themes in different books of the Bible and compare them.Studying the Bible as literature is one of those "horizontal" methods of reading scripture, and it also is very worthwhile and valuable. Actually, the best way to read scripture I think is to combine both methods, but it seems that different denominations lean towards one way of reading or another. Because of that, Leland Ryken's book is a very helpful overview of how to read the Bible as literature. Different literary types studied in this book include BIblical poetry, proverbs, the gospels, and the parables as well as others. The author does an excellent job of encouraging deep reading of scripture while taking time to understand the type of literature that particular book represents. I found the section on Biblical poetry especially interesting. An amazing thing to learn is that Hebrew poetry does not rhyme with the sound of words, but uses poetic structure instead. If the poetry had been of the type that rhymed (like "moon" and "June") when it was translated into other languages the poetry form would have been lost. But since Hebrew poetry uses structure instead of mere rhyming words, it is magnificently translated into many languages and the beauty of the poetry is not lost or diminished! Types of poetic structures discussed include metaphor, simile, symbol, allusion, personification, and hyperbole. I am finding that reading this book compliments my reading of Peter Leithart's book "A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament". Leithart encourages horizontal reading methods in scripture also, and he digs some wonderful treasures out by comparing similar themes across scripture.