Adult Christian Formation – Reading Genres In A Library
Join us Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. before 11 a.m. service as we plot hope through vigorous discussion.
Question: What do Genesis 11:1-9, 1 Kings 6:2-10, Psalms 71:14-18, Amos 7: 1-9, Revelation 5:1-5, and Corinthians 6:14-7:1 have in common?
One way to answer is to read the books as though you had checked each volume out from the library in order to do research for an essay you’re writing.
Another answer: They are all books (of different genres) in a library we call the Bible.
Genesis could be read as history or allegory. The Kings passage is history. The Book of Psalms forms a big part of the Wisdom Books. Amos constitutes prophecy. Revelation is considered an apocalyptic message and is also much more than that. Corinthians is a Pauline letter written to specific group of people to address a specific situation.
Thinking along these lines might help in furthering your understanding of these ancient passages as to how they can apply to current life situations.
In your readings and studies of the Bible there are some questions you can ask along the way:
- How do the implications of the story change when you shift genres?
- How does your understanding of genre help you make sense of these very different passages?
- In regards to the Pauline letters—If you know the time, place, and to whom written—What difference does that make in the way you understand Paul’s words?
- Think of a verse you’ve heard used in conversation or in an argument. How would thinking about the genre of that passage change the way that verse is understood and used?
Genres of allegory, history, wisdom, prophecy, revelation, Pauline letters are some of the main genres and there are others and other terms you can utilize for English is such a rich language with a combination of many bables — not babble; not nonsense.
On many Sunday mornings throughout the year, at Trinity Study Hour before church, we read these passages and wrestle with these questions.
The adventure of mind and spirit continues.
We’ll keep reading, discussing, and examining different genres—the invitation is always open to join us anytime as we continue to check out books from our Biblical library.