(Literary Genres Matter)
Example of why context is important
______________ “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
______________ “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah.”
Reminder: The scriptures are to be rightly understood in the correct context (Context is King).
What are the scriptures saying? What are the two different genres?
Exodus 14:21-25 (mainly 14:22)
Exodus 15:4-12 (mainly 15:8)
The story of God throughout history
Understanding the difference between Descriptive and Prescriptive Text
OT Descriptive Example: David and Goliath (1 Sam 17)
NT Descriptive Example: Christians meeting in homes (Acts 2:46, 20:20; Romans 16:5)
NT Prescriptive Example: Jesus’ words for us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
Much of Acts is descriptive where much of the epistles is prescriptive. There are exceptions of course.
Look at Genesis 11:1-9
Question to ask to better understand Narrative Scripture
Hebrew word tora is translated “law” and more specifically means “instruction” coming from God, not a local government.
Caution: The first 5 books of the bible are refereed to as the Tora, but not all the scriptures written in there are Law (instruction).
The Law points people to the Gospel
Look at Leviticus 24:10-16 about Blasphemy
Teach us the important lessons about all areas of life, including relationship with God and others.
Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes and portions of the psalms (1, 32, 34,37) and prophets (Is. 5:1-7)
Wisdom begins with believing God exists and having a fear of Him
Wisdom is knowledge in action
Wisdom is more precious than jewels
Job: God allowing a good man to suffer and tested his faith through a challenge from Satan. It reveals God’s supremacy and divine wisdom over human wisdom.
Proverbs: Wisdom concerning morality and the knowledge of how to live properly. It contrasts the benefits of seeking wisdom and the pitfalls of loving fool’s life
Ecclesiastes: Contains the reflections of an old man “Preacher” who has lived a long time and has considers the meaning of life.
Cautions: Proverbs are not Promises
“A common mistake in biblical interpretation and application is to give a proverbial saying the weight or force of a moral absolute.” (R.C. Sproul)
“An oral, divine message mediated through an individual that is directed at a person or people group and intended to elicit a specific response.” Lexham Bible Dictionary
Categories of Prophesy
Messianic Prophesy (Prophecy about Jesus)
Experiences, metaphors, and songs to communicate truth. Poetry writings makes up about 33% of the Bible.
Same but More Parallelism: thought or idea is expanded on (builds up).
Same Repeated Parallelism: thought or idea is repeated in different terms.
Opposed Parallelism: thoughts placed in opposition to one another.
Acrostic Poetry: the initial letter of each line when read downward forms the alphabet
A short story that has a main point and teaches a moral or spiritual truth. It also can be thought of as a teaching aid. Parables make up 35% of Jesus’ recorded sayings. Jesus tells the parables to probe inside us to see if we really understand the gospel.
Example: Luke 18:9-14
Understanding the parables takes human effort and the help of the Holy Spirit
OT: 2 Sam 12:1-10 Nathan Rebukes David
NT: Mark 4:1-20 (Matthew 13, Luke 8) Parable of the Sower
Helpful Hints: Determine what is the moral/spiritual truth that is presented. “This is what the kingdom of heaven is like” (7 times in Matthew 13). Don’t add conclusions to the parable that are not there (only 4 types of soil Matt 13:1-9). Make sure the understanding of the parable doesn’t contradict other parts of scripture.
Four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that tell of the good news of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1)
Synoptic (see together) gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke (Same event recorded from different authors.
Why was the gospel of John written?
Letters written to churches or individuals making up 21 of the 27 books in the New Testament. 13 were written by the Apostle Paul.
Occasional Documents intended for a specific occasion
Structured with gospel and then implications
Scripture that reveals God’s action and coming judgement in symbolic language. It deals with “last things.” Scripture: Daniel 7-13, Revelation
Daniel 8:3-8 (took place approximately 550 B.C.)
The Ram (8:3-4)
The Goat (8:5-8)