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Products>Words of Delight: A Literary Introduction to the Bible, 2nd ed.

Words of Delight: A Literary Introduction to the Bible, 2nd ed.

ISBN: 9781441254795

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Leland Ryken’s comprehensive and insightful surveys on the Bible as literature, Words of Delight and Words of Life, have now been combined in this one-volume edition. In this introduction to Scripture, the author offers a volume brimming over with wonderful insights into Old and New Testament books and passages—insights that have escaped most traditional commentators. Those who study, preach, or teach the Scriptures will add this book to the inner circle of reference works always kept within reach.

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Baker Hermeneutics Collection (14 Vols.)!

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Top Highlights

“One of the interpretive assumptions that we make of stories is that storytellers intend to communicate meaning.” (Page 82)

“In direct narrative, storytellers simply report events, telling us in their own voice what happened. In dramatic narrative, writers dramatize a scene as though it were in a play, quoting the speeches or dialogue of characters and noting the surrounding context. In description, writers describe the details of setting or character. Commentary consists of explanations by storytellers about details in the story, background information, or the overall meaning of the story.” (Page 43)

“One of these is the elevation of the object of the praise. A corresponding second element is the direction of the praiser’s whole being away from himself or herself toward the object of praise.” (Page 245)

“View yourself as the observant traveling companion of the characters in a story (especially the protagonist) and simply get to know the characters as thoroughly as the details allow you to do.” (Page 75)

“the Bible as a whole is unified by master images and symbols that recur throughout its pages” (Page 48)

. . . We often tend to focus on the doctrinal content of the Bible at the expense of its emotional impact…Ryken emphasizes that the Bible does not appear as a theological outline with proof texts attached, but as stories, visions, poems, and letters.

—John F. Brug, author of three volumes in the People’s Bible Commentary

. . . Set forth in simple, straightforward, precise. . . language. . . Teaching and preaching the Bible as God’s Word in man’s language can become more colorful, insightful, and challenging when done in the light of what Ryken has done here.

—Peter Y. DeJong, former professor of pastoral theology, Calvin Theological Seminary

Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for more than 43 years. He has authored or edited more than three dozen books, including The Word of God in English, The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible, The ESV Literary Study Bible, and A Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version.


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  1. Constantine Nazarov
  2. Richard Villarreal