Tuesday, December 3, 2019

How to Read the Bible: Literary Styles

The Bible is the foundation for our spiritual formation.

Yet, for many of us who follow Jesus, reading the Bible is difficult. We have good intentions for reading the Bible, but we often fail in those intentions.

One of the keys to understanding the Bible is to remember that it is written in different literary styles. What are those styles?



As we come to read the Bible it is crucial that we don't just come to gain new information. Rather, we want to approach the Bible asking the simple question, "How does this apply to me?"

There are certain literary types which make this easier to do than others.

Personally, this is why I prefer the New Testament over the Old. It is easy to skim through the laws found in Leviticus or the genealogies found in Genesis, or even the writings of the Prophetic books. The literary styles that make up the New Testament, especially the discourse nature of the Apostles' letters, make it easy for me to answer the question, "How does this apply to me?"

One of the best things we can do, as a general practice, is to see the Bible, not as a book to be conquered, but as writings to understand. To do this we need to approach the Bible prayerfully and humbly, asking God to speak to us from its pages.

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