The Bible as Literature Sacred authors used literary techniques to express their meaning To understand scripture we must understand literary techniques
The Bible as Literature The Bible is Literature –Human authors use literary forms to convey meanings The Bible is Ancient Literature –Bible was written over 2,000 years ago –We must seek to understand the way the author and the readers of the time saw the world in their time and place.
The Bible as Literature One rule in reading scripture: –We must seek to understand the literal sense first We read the meaning of symbols as part of the literal sense. –Guess what this is
The Bible as Literature Read the meaning of symbols and metaphors as part of the literal sense. –Guess what? We do this daily!! –Ex: “He eats like a pig”, “I have a frog in my throat”
The Bible as Literature Literal not Literalistic Mt 18:8-9 - “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal life” If we read this in a literalistic way what limbs would you be missing?
The Spiritual Sense Allegorical, Moral and Anagogical
The holy Spirit often puts in more meaning into a passage than the author is aware of.
The Spiritual Sense Psalm 22: –“Many dogs surround me; a pack of evildoers closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet - I can count all my bones - stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” The Crucifixion: –“The chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him” –“The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way” –“after they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots”
Spiritual Sense: Allegorical Also called the typical sense –Type: an event or person in Scripture that points forward to another event or person later in scripture. A “type” has similar virtues or other qualities as the one that fulfills it. Allegorical sense: shows how people or events point forward to later people or events in history
Spiritual Sense: Moral We look to the heroes of scripture as models for our own lives We use them as examples of how to act or how not to act.
Spiritual Sense: Anagogical This sense of scripture points us to heaven It gives us glimpses of the Kingdom of God.
The Spiritual Sense Just a friendly reminder: –All senses of scripture are first based on the literal sense However, since God’s is also the author of scripture we must not stop at the literal sense. All scripture must be read in light of Christ.
The Church Guides Christ gave his the Apostle the authority to teach –“Go therefore and make disciples… teaching them all I have commanded you and behold, I am with you always until the end of the age” Matthew 28:18-20 The Church has the teaching authority given to her by Christ and therefore can be trusted with correct interpretation of Scripture.
The Bible as a whole The whole bible must be read in the context of the rest of the bible. Without the Old Testament, the New Testament makes no sense
Memorize this: “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New” –St. Augustine