A lot of times, we treat Scripture like it's all the same from Genesis to Revelation. After all, it only has one Author. Isn't it just one big book, identical from beginning to end?
While it's true that the Bible is unified, it is also diverse. The Bible can be grouped according to key categories, called genres, that help us to read and properly interpret the Scriptures. An understanding of these genres, and the literary themes and devices used within them, makes all the difference when encountering God's Word.
Long-time Bible teacher Kristie Anyabwile discovered as she prepared her lessons that a single inductive approach doesn't do justice to the variety of genres that make up the Word of God. Because Scripture is a collection of writings that spans 1,500 years, many literary styles are represented and each must be taken into account for the fullest understanding of God's Word. Kristie shows you the immense value of studying the Bible literarily—that is, according to the literary style presented in a particular book, chapter, or passage. In Literarily, Kristie will take you through these eight distinct genres:
The Bible is an epic story that God has revealed to us through diverse genres and literary features. Its message and method are both meant to transform our hearts. Our goal as interpreters isn't to meld the Scriptures into a bland conglomerate, but to recognize the multiple forms in which God's Word comes to us. In so doing, we'll encounter the ongoing story of Jesus's redemption and learn how He calls His people to live in our complex world today.
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The power of language rests not just in what words are said, but in how they are said. The words of Scripture are no exception. Perhaps no tool is more useful, or more often overlooked, than a basic understanding of how the Bible speaks. Kristie offers excellent help to those who want to read the Bible as it is written: as a collection of different ways of writing, all telling one marvelous story.
—Jen Wilkin, author and Bible teacher
Reading the Bible is important, but how we read it makes all the difference. Through a simple and concise approach, Kristie Anyabwile helps readers grasp the literary genres of the Bible. With plenty of aha moments to spare, this book helps us go to God's Word with fresh understanding, giving way to a true, rich, and robust study of the Scriptures.
—Emily Jensen & Laura Wifler, cofounders of Risen Motherhood; coauthors of Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments
Most of us know instinctually that we don't read poetry the same way we read historical narrative. And we don't read apocalyptic the same way we read discourse. But most of us need a little help in developing our skills for reading and understanding the types of literature in the Bible we're less familiar with. In this uncomplicated and insightful book, Kristie hands us some tools to use in the text that will help it to open up to us, so that we will become better able to understand and apply it to our lives.
—Nancy Guthrie, author and Bible teacher
Kristie Anyabwile lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Thabiti. They have three children. Kristie is a popular conference speaker and tweets @kanyabwile