Working on a class for REL 215 (Scripture Study) and Monday’s lesson will be on literary styles in scripture –
Literary Styles in Scripture
Another way to help understand scripture is to understand the techniques that the authors used to write. For today’s study, we are going to spend some time familiarizing ourselves with some of these techniques (kind of like learning how notes and chords in different patterns create music or how light and composition bring photography to life). In addition to bible literature comprising the following: Law, History, Poetry, Prophecy, Genealogy, and Narrative, their works also included literary styles that would make it rich in meaning, but to the modern reader (who is used to Western traditional poetry and prose) scriptures can be confusing.
Hebrew writers would use:
- Figurative Imagery
In order to learn some of these techniques, please choose to study two of the following articles and be prepared to share your findings:
Enrichment Section G: Hebrew Literary Styles, Old Testament Student Manual Genesis-2 Samuel
Research and Perspectives:Hebrew Literary Patterns in the Book of Mormon, Donald W. Parry, Ensign, October 1989
- Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon, John W. Welch, BYU Religious Studies Center, 1982
- Covenants Taught through Chiasmus, Eric William Graham, in BYU Religious Education 2009 Student Symposium
- Teaching the Poetry of Latter-day Saint Scripture, Roger G. Baker, Religious Educator 3, no. 2 (2002): 201–214
Just leaving a few more talks that I came across here for study:
- Joshua Michael Sears, “‘With Far Greater Accuracy’: How Understand Language Improves Our Study of the Scriptures,” in BYU Religious Education 2009 Student Symposium (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 47–68.
- Herbert N. Schneidau, “Biblical Style and Western Literature,” in Literature of Belief: Sacred Scripture and Religious Experience, ed. Neal E. Lambert (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1981), 17–38.
- Julie M. Smith, ‘”Written, That Ye Might Believe’: Literary Features of the Gospels,” Religious Educator 5, no. 2 (2004): 95–104.
- Robert L. Millet, “The JST and the Synoptic Gospels: Literary Style,” in The Joseph Smith Translation: The Restoration of Plain and Precious Truths, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1985), 147–62.
Very, very intrigued by the poetry style.