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Monday, October 25, 2021

Class Assignment: Genre Analysis: Gospels, Epistles and Apocalyptic Literature

Genre Analysis: Gospels, Epistles and Apocalyptic Literature

The King’s University, Southlake, Texas

Biblical Background and Interpretation (2021FA-BIBL-2301-ONL)

Professor: Dr. J. Wallace

Due: 10/31/2021

By Darrell Wolfe



Gospels, Epistles and Apocalyptic Literature


Early Jesus communities considered themselves to be the fullness of the covenants of Israel and used the Tanakh, or often the Greek Septuagint, as their scriptures. These communities began to produce literature themselves to supplement and augment their new way of life. These writings supported their origins (Gospels), helped flesh out what had changed and how they should conduct themselves as a community going forward (Epistles), and provided one final encouragement (Revelation).

The word Gospel comes from the Greek word “euangelion”, which had firm roots in the Imperial Religion.[1] By producing the four accounts of Jesus, the early church not only made Jewish claims about the promised Messiah but counter-cultural claims about the real Lord and who brought peace (the not-Caesar). These gospels made claims that set this community apart from both the Traditional-Jewish and Roman worlds. The authors also took the opportunity to arrange information carefully, highlighting the points they wanted to make by which stories they included, and in which order. Each of the four gospels carries through its own theme.

The books known as the Epistles (letters) were written by Apostles to the churches they over-saw, and they were intended to be read aloud to the entire community (and often shared).[2] Although many were written by Paul; Peter, John, James and Jude (Jesus’ biological brothers), and the unknown author of Hebrews (along with their scribes) each make a showing. These books provided pastoral oversight and theologically significant claims, often quoting from the Tanakh/Septuagint, about who Jesus was and how his body should conduct their lives because of his coming. Often, questions or issues in the community provided the occasion for the writing.[3]

Finally, John gave us the Apocalypse (Revelation), which provided comfort to the persecuted church while offering a compelling vision of final things.[4] As things began to get dark for the early church (as Jesus’ said they would), it would be easy to bow to the pressure and leave the faith behind. Following in the schema of other Jewish Apocalypses, John writes a visionary narrative promising that one day, Heaven and Earth will be made new, united again as it was “In the Beginning”.
 

 

Bibliography

Duvall, J. Scott, J. Daniel Hays, and Mark L. Strauss and Kevin J Vanhoozer. Grasping God’s Word, Fourth Edition: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, 2020.

Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary - Barry, J. D., Bomar, D., Brown, D. R., Klippenstein, R., Mangum, D., Sinclair Wolcott, C., … Widder, W. (Eds.). (2016). In The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press. Billingham, WA: Leham Press, 2016. LexhamPress.com.



Notes

[1] The Lexham Bible Dictionary - Barry, J. D., Bomar, D., Brown, D. R., Klippenstein, R., Mangum, D., Sinclair Wolcott, C., … Widder, W. (Eds.). (2016). In The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press. (Billingham, WA: Leham Press, 2016), Gospel Genre > Backgrounds to the New Testament Usage of Gospel > Imperial Relgion, LexhamPress.com; || J. Scott Duvall, J. Daniel Hays, and Mark L. Strauss and Kevin J Vanhoozer, Grasping God’s Word, Fourth Edition: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, 2020, 280. What are the Gospels?

[2] Duvall, Hays, and Vanhoozer, Grasping God’s Word, Fourth Edition, 263.

[3] Gordon D. Fee and Douglas K. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 3rd ed (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003), 58.

[4] Duvall, Hays, and Vanhoozer, Grasping God’s Word, Fourth Edition, 333.



 


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Class Assignment: Genre Analysis: Wisdom Literature and Prophetic Literature

Genre Analysis: Wisdom Literature and Prophetic Literature


The King’s University, Southlake, Texas

Biblical Background and Interpretation (2021FA-BIBL-2301-ONL)

Professor: Dr. J. Wallace

10/24/2021

By Darrell Wolfe


Wisdom Literature and Prophetic Literature

Modern readers of the Bible tend to treat it as a rulebook. Every story is read as an example, which means the reader should be like that character. Every law is treated as something the reader may need believe or do today. Thus, when they come to a passage about wearing tassels, or not wearing mixed cloth, the reader may become confused, asking if this is something that must be obeyed in the modern era.

In his podcast series on Wisdom Literature, Tim Mackie, PhD makes the case that the entire Bible (even the New Testament, written in Greek by Hebrew minds) should be read as Hebrew Wisdom Literature.[1] Every story, narrative, genealogy, parable, and poem is intended to be pondered over a cup of tea and a pipe, murmuring the words to oneself as one ponders the deeper meanings of a passage, pulling on the threads, and looking for design patterns. When read this way, the Bible ceases to become a book of Do’s and Don’ts. Instead, it becomes an opportunity to reflect on the themes and threads, finding principles to live by in our modern era. Nowhere is this truer than in the Wisdom books themselves. Witherington summarizes this way:

“Wisdom literature then requires not merely reading but rumination. It is meat to tease the mind into active thought, not merely command or demand assent to some particular point of view.”[2]

One genre within the Hebrew Bible that requires special attention, is Prophetic Literature. The Prophet should be seen as a truth-teller, not a future-teller.[3] Prophets were called to speak God’s mind and heart to the people of Israel under covenant with YHWH. They often use poetic and figurative language to paint word images for the people, compelling not just their minds but their hearts back to the covenant. Duvall and Hays observe that Amos does not say “God is mad” but rather “the lion has roared” (Amos 3:8).[4] These figurative ways of speaking open the heart to hear the real message.

Often, these words from God were for the present situation, bringing the people into remembrance of all that YHWH has said and done for them/to them already. In some instances, these words involve impending judgement (typically in the near future). In very rare instances, these prophetic words involve some far future event, and even rarer still are those words intended to be for the “end of the age” or final “Day of YHWH”. Fee and Stuart state: “less than 1 percent concerns events yet to come in our time”.[5] These messages equip one to hear the voice of God then and there, and still ring true today.
 

Bibliography

Duvall, J. Scott, J. Daniel Hays, and Mark L. Strauss and Kevin J Vanhoozer. Grasping God’s Word, Fourth Edition: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, 2020.

Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003.

Mackie, Tim, and Jon Collins. “BibleProjectTM Videos and Podcasts.” Accessed June 18, 2021. https://bibleproject.com/.

Witherington, Ben. Reading and Understanding the Bible. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2015.


Notes

[1] Tim Mackie and Jon Collins, “BibleProjectTM Videos and Podcasts,” *https://bibleproject.com/podcast/series/wisdom-series/*, accessed June 18, 2021, https://bibleproject.com/.


[2] Ben Witherington, Reading and Understanding the Bible (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2015), 40.


[3] Witherington, 46.


[4] J. Scott Duvall, J. Daniel Hays, and Mark L. Strauss and Kevin J Vanhoozer, Grasping God’s Word, Fourth Edition: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, 2020, 438.


[5] Gordon D. Fee and Douglas K. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 3rd ed (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003), 182.





 


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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