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11 Literary Forms in the New Testament

Formation of the Gospels

April Williams

on 13 May 2014

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Transcript of 11 Literary Forms in the New Testament

Literary Forms...
The scriptures present different types of truth and these are expressed in a variety of literary forms.
Literary Forms in the New Testament
According to their
We instinctively know what kind of writing we are dealing with by the words used and by the style. For example if we compare a
prayer book
to a
detective story
, there is a clear difference in the style of book.
According to their
Each literary form arose from a particular context in life. For example, because we know our school system a school report is automatically familiar to us. Context is described as:
The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
According to their
What is in
and what are they about? A cook book, a railway guide or a book of poetry do not leave us long in doubt as to what category they belong to. One look at their contents and we know!
These are the categories in which we speak or write. It is hard for us to understand the true meaning of any passage or statement unless we know which category of writing or speaking – which literary form – it belongs to.

These can generally be classified according to three identifiers:
What are Literary forms?
The literary form that writers use depends on the
purpose of the writing
and the type of message they are trying to get across to their audience.
You cannot write a novel using the same style as when you write a song lyric.
To find
in any particular text you must
first figure out what literary form it is written in or you may interpret it incorrectly!
Mixed Messages
Write which literary form each of the sentences belong to from the list of literary forms here:
Analyzing Literary Form….
We cannot judge the New Testament using the same methods you would use to assess modern historical accounts.
When we approach Scripture we are entering a world
hugely different from our own
Lacking the direct experience of traditional Jewish life and ways of thinking, the reader today has to work harder to find the authors meaning.
Literary Forms in the New Testament
Using the newspaper articles provided decide what kind of articles are present.

Name two things that are special to each literary form (not found in the others)

Do you think that the literary form used conveys adequately, the purpose of the writer (does it get their message across to the audience well) ?
Literary Forms in the Newspaper
What is What?
Letter (Epistle)
Controversy Story
Luke 15:11-32
Thessalonians 1:1
Mark 12:13-17
Mark 4: 35-41
Matthew 9:32-34
Matthew 11:11
Luke 1:46-55
Ephesians 6:21-24

How to read the Bible
Full transcript