How much of the Bible is comprised of poetry?
Which books of the Bible are poetic?
Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Lamentations
What does the poetry of the OT focus on?
It focuses on our emotional response to God as well as our emotional response to those who are hostile to God and his people
Jet Engines and Paintings
Moving from NT letters to OT poetry is going from the Air and Space Museum to a Art Gallery
What is the difference between NT letters and OT poetry?
NT letters focus on propositional truth, presented rationally and logically. OT poetry deals with the emotional impact.
What are central features of OT poetic texts?
terseness, a high degree of structure, and figurative imagery
What is terseness?
when poetry uses a minimum number of words
What types of structure are there in OT poetry?
Parallelism and Acrostics
When two lines of poetry are grouped together to express one thought, it is a dominant structural characteristics
Why are the different types of parallelism?
Synonymous, developmental, illustrative, contrastive, and formal
This involves a close similarity between lines using words with similar meanings
The second line develops further the idea of the first
line A conveys the idea and line B illustrates it with an example or symbol
employs the use of contrast, line B is contrasted with line A
a “miscellaneous” category to catch the remaining types of parallelism that do not fall into the other categories
What is the most dominant structural characteristic of OT poetry?
A poem in which each successive line of poetry starts with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet
When the poem paints pictures and using figurative language
What are the authors conveying?
They are conveying real thoughts, events, and emotions to us- that is, literal truth, but they express this truth figuratively
OT poetic texts can be placed into what two major categories?
figures involving analogy and figures involving substitution
What are the parts of the figures of speech involving analogy?
Simile, metaphor, indirect analogy, hyperbole, personification/anthropomorphism/zoomorphism
This figure of speech makes a comparison by using the words like or as to explicitly state that one thing resembles another
make an analogy between items by direct statement without the use of like or as
Indirect analogy (know as hypokatastasis)
it uses the analogous item without directly stating the comparison, assumes the reader can make the comparison
a “conscious exaggeration for the sake of effect”
attributing human features or human characteristics to nonhuman entities
representation of God with human features or human characteristics
when other nonhuman images for God are used like animals and inanimate objects
What are the figures of speech involving substitution?
Effects and causes(also known as metonymy) and representation(also known as synecedoche)
Effects and Causes
when someone attempts to express himself colorfully and substitutes the effect for the cause
when poets substitute a representative part of an entity instead of the entity itself
What are the miscellaneous figures of speech?
apostrophe and irony
Miscellaneous figures of speech
When some figures fall outside of the categories of analogy and substitution
apostrophes are used as if a present or person or entity is not actually present, they do this to express strong feelings or to stress a particular point
When the writer says the exact opposite of what he really means
When they play of variant possible meanings of a word or when they play off sound similarities
poetry is used…
often in prophetic literature, wisdom literature, and in the Psalms
What does Psalms do?
It gives us inspired models of how to talk and sing to God
What do Christians fail to recognize?
That the Bible also contains words spoken to God or about God- which is what the Psalms do
What can the Psalms be categorized into of the three main contexts of human life?
“seasons of well-being that evoke gratitude for the constancy of blessing,” “anguished seasons of hurt, alienation, suffering, and death”, and seasons of “surprise when we are overwhelmed with the new gifts of God, when joy breaks through the despair
How does the Psalms help us?
give us a guide to serious worship, help us relate honestly to God, and lead us into reflection and meditation on what God has done for us