Comparative essay that focuses on two different genres from the Old Testament
The Medium is the Message.i?? This phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan in 1958 could well
describe the significance of giving attention to literary genre for interpreting biblical
texts. At that time, McLuhan proposed that the medium itself, not the content it
carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which
it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the
characteristics of the medium itself, and the changes brought about as a consequence
of its introduction. [You might consider the impact technology has had on
communication : email, twitter; and on reading: kindle, e-books. The medium makes a
1. Select an example of 2 different biblical genres from the following: Poetry; prophetic
oracles;apocalyptic oracle; wisdom writing; drama.
2. Identify the likely historical context for each example (historical background).
3. Clearly identify elements that are particular to each genre.
4. What is the theological significance of each passage and how might each passage have
addressed the needs of its original audience? Again, what does it tell us about God?
The above steps are the necessary stages needed in any biblical analysis. In the light of your analysis and the point made McLuhan.
5. Evaluate the choice of this genre for this situation and theological expression.
USE THE FOLLOWING BOOKS
Alexander, T.D. From Paradise to Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch (2nd edition;
Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002)
Longman III, Tremper., and Raymond B. Dillard. An Introduction to the Old Testament (2nd edition;
Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2006). Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Narrative (2nd edition; New York: Basic Books, 2011).
Duvall J. Scott., and J. Daniel Hays. Grasping Gods Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading,
Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012).
Enns, Peter. Inspiration and Incarnation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005).
Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All its Worth (3rd edition; Grand
Rapids: Zondervan, 2003).
Jacobs, A.J. The Year of Living Biblically: One Mani??s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007).
Osborne, Grant. The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
(Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).
Pratt, Richard L. He Gave Us Stories: The Bible Studenti??s Guide to Interpreting Old Testament
Narrative (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing, 1990).
Sandy, D. Brent., and Ronald L. Giese (eds). Cracking Old Testament Codes: A Guide to Interpreting the Literary Genres of the Old Testament (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1995).
Old Testament Word Study Kohlenberger, John R., and James A Swanson. The Hebrew-English Concordance to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998).
Ryken, Leland., James C. Wilhoit., and Tremper Longman III (eds). Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
(Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998).
VanGemeren, Willem A (ed). New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis
(5 vols; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997).