In order to understand the content of the Bible, readers first need to understand how the content is expressed. The literary forms and features of the Bible are a crucial part of understanding the Bible’s message—both for its original audience and for readers today. Compared to conventional study Bibles that answer the what of a passage, the ESV Literary Study Bible guides readers through the Bible text, showing how to read the passage. Providing over 1,200 insightful notes, this volume highlights literary features such as genre, images, plot, setting, stylistic and rhetorical techniques, and artistry so readers can more richly understand the unity, flow, and profound depth of the biblical text. First published in 2007, the ESV Literary Study Bible has been refreshed with an all-new typesetting while retaining all the same content that helps readers discover and teach the message of the Bible embodied in its literary forms and features.
“The plot of the story forms a pattern of increasingly severe conflict between Jesus and his opponents, ending in the crucifixion of Jesus.” (Page 1644)
“The subject of literature is human experience rendered as concretely as possible. The result is that it possesses a universal quality. Whereas history and the daily news tell us what happened, literature tells us what happens—what is true for all people in all places and times.” (Page xi)
“tell the story of Jesus’ life as a traveling teacher and miracle worker” (Page 1644)
“Expository writing gives us the precept; literature gives us the example.” (Page x)
“We should not try to visualize the details in a composite way” (Page 1952)
Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for nearly 50 years. He has authored or edited over fifty books, including The Word of God in English and A Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meetings and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.
Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. Formerly, he served as senior minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited more than 40 books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and preached at universities and seminaries worldwide.
John Mark Carter