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How to Read the Bible as Literature [Paperback]

By Leland Ryken (Author)
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Item Number 55046  
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Item description for How to Read the Bible as Literature by Leland Ryken...

A guide to the literary aspects of the Bible, this book surveys such biblical forms as narrative, poetry, proverb, gospel, parable, and epistle. It also discusses the literary unity of the Bible.

Publishers Description

Why the Good Book Is a Great Read If you want to rightly understand the Bible, you must begin by recognizing what it is: a composite of literary styles. It is meant to be read, not just interpreted. The Bible s truths are embedded like jewels in the rich strata of story and poetry, metaphor and proverb, parable and letter, satire and symbolism. Paying attention to the literary form of a passage will help you understand the meaning and truth of that passage. How to Read the Bible as Literature takes you through the various literary forms used by the biblical authors. This book will help you read the Bible with renewed appreciation and excitement and gain a more profound grasp of its truths. Designed for maximum clarity and usefulness, How to Read the Bible as Literature includes * sidebar captions to enhance organization * wide margins ideal for note taking * suggestions for further reading * appendix: "The Allegorical Nature of the Parables" * indexes of persons and subjects"

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.12" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.56"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1985
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310390214  
ISBN13  9780310390213  
UPC  025986390211  

Availability  31 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 01:28.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About Leland Ryken

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Leland Ryken is Professor of English at Wheaton College, where he has taught since 1968. He has published nearly two dozen books on various subjects including literature in Christian perspective, the Bible as literature, and Milton. His previous titles include The Liberated Imagination, The Discerning Reader, A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible, Words of Delight and Realms of Gold.

Leland Ryken currently resides in the state of Illinois.

Leland Ryken has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Christian Guides to the Classics
  2. Writers' Palette Book

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible Study > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Exegesis & Hermeneutics
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Doctrines

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Reviews - What do customers think about How to Read the Bible as Literature?

How To Read The Bible As Literature  Aug 28, 2006
This book was in very good condition. The cover had been bent, which I knew before I paid for the book, but was still in good condition. The pages were excellent and looked like they had never been used.
A Fine Introduction  Aug 22, 2006
Ryken does well with his introduction to the Bible as literature. This work is clear and tight, the way such a book ought to be. Perhaps its greatest virtue is that it works within the traditional western categories of literature, explaining them all along (for those of us who don't remember everything from our school days!). As such, the ideas and terms will ring familiar, at least faintly, with most of us educated in the States, and it will offer a sound introduction to the Bible as literature.

With this said, though, perhaps the greatest weakness of this book is that same characteristic. Traditional categories are a good place to start, but the reader must, at some point, go beyond these into the more Hebrew-specific realm of reading. The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament truly is, despite some opinion, a masterful work, but to understand it as such one must become familiar with just how it works. Wonderfully, there are writers, such as Robert Alter and Adele Berlin, who have written well on precisely this topic.

In the end, this book is a great place to start. It offers a well-grounded foundation for reading the Bible literarily, and as long as the reader knows its strengths and limitations, it will serve him well.
Bringing the Bible to the masses, but then what?  Jan 29, 2005
Despite the fact that Ryken seems more theologically conservative than I find tasteful, this book does a good job of making the Bible accessible to the average reader as a matter more of Western culture than Christian faith. The author's emphasis on literature underscores that the importance of the Bible lies in its ability to communicate by evoking an emotional experience in the reader.

However, as a product of Western literature, there are a few important points Ryken skips over: How can the Biblical stories clearly intended in the Bible as morality tales not become trite and manipulative to postmodern Western audiences? Does the use of metaphor in the Bible invite differing interpretations because each reader will have a different experience of the original metaphor? And perhaps, due to Ryken's Wheaton-based theology, he entirely fails to address overiding themes in the Bible such as the condemnation of hubris and exclusivity.
speedy delivery; wrong book  Sep 1, 2004
the book did get to me faster than expected. however, it was the wrong edition. it will work for my class, but the picture on the website was not the book i bought. the picture is of the newer edition, which i needed and thought i was buying, but it really was the older edition. somewhat of an upset, but i guess it will have to do.
much to do about nothing  May 16, 2003
The book is well organized, highly researched, and well written, but very boring! It simply analyzes biblical literature to death and makes many of the not so interesting and not so well written parts of the Bible out to be much more than they really are. It's a bit like trying to make the phone book out to be a great piece of literature. It isn't. It is a good source of information and that's all. The Bible has some nice literary parts to it to be sure, but the author stretches the value of much of the literature in the Bible. Her focus on the mundane, was tedious, and left much to be desired. I would have much rather had her be less detailed and cover the more interesting and valid aspects of Biblical literature rather than trying to make even Geneologies and redundant historical accounts out to be more interesting than they really are. Frankly, many of the stories in the Bible are really not that well written and to try and make it seem as though they are is just delusion.

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