How To Read the Bible as Literature by Ryken

A great quote that I ran across as I am starting to read this excellent book by Leland Ryken:

“What does it mean to approach the Bible as literature? It means first of all to be sensitive to the experiential side of the Bible. It means to resist the tendency to turn every biblical passage into a theological proposition, as though this is what the passage exists for. The one thing the Bible is not, may I repeat, is a theological outline with proof texts.” (p.18).

0 Responses to How To Read the Bible as Literature by Ryken

  1. Philip III says:

    “It means to resist the tendency to turn every biblical passage into a theological proposition, as though this is what the passage exists for.”

    Hard for a preacher to do. That’s a good deal of what we were trained to do.

  2. Brian says:

    speaking of ESV and ryken, I have really enjoyed the literary study bible that both rykens edited.

  3. Adam G. says:

    Very true about reading the Bible as literature. My reading of Robert Alter’s “Five Books of Moses” has been eye-opening in this regard. When you really let the text speak for itself, you get some amazing messages that don’t fit our traditional outlines and systematic theology.

  4. Matt,
    Thank you for the kind comments on my blog. I appreciate it!

  5. mattdabbs says:

    Philip,

    That is a really good point. I think that training is beneficial. I also think it is good to make sure we get the whole story.

    Brian,

    I had no idea about that Bible. Thanks for mentioning that.

    Adam,

    Alter is really good. I will have to check out that book.

    Terry,

    Certainly. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Frank says:

    Ryken has a very good reputation, but I haven’t read any of his stuff just yet. Thanks for the quote and the reminder.

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