An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 7: Reason, Criticism, and Scripture)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 7: Reason, Criticism, and Scripture)

Reason and Scripture I have often heard conversations on biblical interpretation that placed reason and Scripture in opposition. Generally, I see this as an attempt to keep at bay the influence of modernist rationalism, which aims to make human reason the final arbiter of knowledge. Rationalism fits best in a deistic religious framework, in which t

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6b: Allusions and Quotes)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6b: Allusions and Quotes)

Allusions and quotes are a common indicator of intertextuality in Scripture, and finding the connecting passage helps bring out the depth of the message. A quote is a clear indication that both the text including it and the text quoted, need to be understood in relation to each other.   This does not mean that without exploring the quote in it

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6a: Intercalations)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 6a: Intercalations)

Intercalations The term “intercalation” refers both to the writing technique by which an author inserts a story within another story, and the bracketed story itself. “Intercalation” is used interchangeably with “sandwich,” “interpolation,” and “interposition,” though scholars argue in favor of one or another for a more nuanced definition. An interc

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5c: Literary Structures)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5c: Literary Structures)

The most common literary structures in the Bible are chiastic structures and panel structures. These can be found in small units (such as verses), individual narratives (such as a miracle story), or can extend over several chapters, books, and even several books. Composite structures include both chiastic and panel structures, as we will see in an

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5b: Metaphor and Antithesis as Literary Devices)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5b: Metaphor and Antithesis as Literary Devices)

Metaphor A metaphor is “a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated, but which share some common characteristics. In other words, a resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made based on a single or some common characteristics.”[1] The Bible includes many metaphors,

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5a: Repetition as a Literary Device)

An Introduction to Biblical Narrative Analysis (Part 5a: Repetition as a Literary Device)

Repetition is the most frequently-used literary technique in Hebrew writing. As Robert Alter suggests, this is partly due to the fact that the stories compiled into Scripture were originally meant to be read aloud before the original audience.[1] Unlike a written narrative, where you can go back and review some missed points, in an oral exposition