How to Read the Bible (video series)

The How to Read the Bible series walks through each literary style found in the Bible, and how each uniquely contributes to the overall whole. While the Bible is one unified story, it cannot all be read in the same way, as each literary style lives by its own rules and structure; this we will explore in detail in each video.910x350

The Bible can be broken into several categories of writing. Approximately 43% of the Bible is made up of narrative, from historical narrative to parables. Roughly 33% of the Bible is poetry, including songs; reflective poetry; and passionate, politically resistant poetry of the prophets. The remaining 24% of the Bible is prose discourse, including laws, sermons, letters, and even one essay.

The Bible is an ancient Jewish collection of sacred literature made up of many different literary styles. Each biblical book uses, to a varying degree, a combination of all the literary styles to make its unique contribution to the story of the Bible.

This series should help you understand what the Bible is, and the story it tells. But, perhaps even more importantly, it will teach you how to read it for yourself in light of the various literary styles that make each section of the Bible unique in its own way.

By the end of this series, you will be familiar with every part of the Bible and how it uses language to communicate who God is, who we are, and the big, redemptive story that we all living.

What is the Bible?

This is episode 1 of an ongoing series that explores the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible. Here you’ll be introduced to a condensed history of how the Bible came into existence, and the different forms of the Bible in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christian traditions.

The Story of the Bible

Episode 2 summarizes the overall story of the Bible as a series of crossroad decisions. All humanity, followed by the Israelites, redefine good and evil and end up in Babylon. They are followed by Jesus, who takes a different path that opens up the way to a new creation.

Literary Styles in the Bible

Episode 3 shows how reading the Bible wisely requires that we learn about the ancient literary styles used by the biblical authors. These writers expressed their ideas and claims through a variety of different type of literature, and this video will explore why it’s important to tell them apart so we can hear their message on their terms.

***This is an ongoing series, so be sure to check The Bible Project for updates. There you can find a lot of other resources that will enrich your understanding of each book of the Bible and key biblical and theological themes.

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