The Bible As A Literary Work English Literature Essay Free Essay

Reading the Bible as literature is something known from the last decennaries. Before that, everyone was understood to cognize the Bible. Nowadays, it is still necessary to cognize the Bible, non specifically as a sacred text, since it is one of the most influential pieces of literature. Peter S. Hawkins says in his article The Bible as Literature and Sacred Text: “ Given the Bible ‘s importance to Western literature ( non to advert to our civilization as a whole ) , we study it to ‘get the mentions ‘ , to derive some impression of the scriptural literacy that until late about any author both possessed and expected to happen in a reader ” ( 197 ) . To exemplify how reading the Bible as literature might be done, the essay will concentrate on chapters 1-3 from the book of Genesis, and Psalms 17, 46 and 119 in the book of Psalms. Although the book of Genesis and Psalms are sacred plants, they can be read as literature, by concentrating on literary facets. However, to remain nonsubjective will be the toughest challenge confronting the literary analyst.

For analysts of literature cognition of this book of the Bible is necessary to understand a batch of literary plants. When taking on a literary point of position on the text there can be looked at e.g. construction. What is peculiar to this text is the manner lines are repeated. For illustration, “ and it was so ” , to reason a creative activity God made, such as the division between twenty-four hours and dark ( Genesis 1:7 ) . Through this construction the text gets a alone character. When looking at the content, it might likely be the best to read it the same manner classical myths are being read presents. They are no longer interpreted as sacred texts, but simply as beginnings in order to understand literary texts. Many symbols can be found in literature that are originated from Genesis 1-3. E.g. the tree of life and the tree of cognition, the four caputs of the river ; Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates ( Genesis 2:11-14 ) , the serpent, the apple, and Cherubims ( Genesis 3:24 ) .

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The book of Psalms is besides widely used in literature. Lines are adapted for a verse form, or a modern version of a Psalm is created. The literary attack here is illustrated with Psalmss 17, 46, and 119. First of all, psalm 17. In this Psalm there can be looked at construction in relation to the significance. Harmonizing to Pieter new wave der Lugt, who wrote Cantos and Strophes in Biblical Hebrew Poetry II, the construction of Psalms is fixed. Verse 7 in Psalm 17 has one line more than verse 8. “ Verse 8 is the rhetoric Centre, the sum-up of the Psalm: ‘Keep me as the apple of the oculus ‘ ( Psalms 17:8 ) . In Hebrew, precisely 17 ‘cola ‘ precede this line, and 17 ‘cola ‘ follow ” ( LC p.17 ) . Second, when reading psalm 46, the literary analyst can concentrate on tone and manner. In this Psalm is for illustration the poetic imagination evident. “ though the Earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the thick of the sea ” ( Psalms 46:2 ) .

Third, in psalm 119 the literary analyst can look at signifier. “ Ps [ alm ] 119 consists of 22 subdivisions, each of eight lines, which begin with the same missive ; the initial letters for each stanza are in bend the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet ” ( Browning ) .

When reading the above-named plants, the literary analyst faces a figure of challenges. The first and first challenge is to remain nonsubjective. Since the Bible, or its thoughts, are still present in the Western civilization, prejudges and subjective positions are ever in one ‘s head when covering with a scriptural text. The spiritual facet in a literary attack should non be wholly forgotten, in order to put the text in the right context, but should besides be limited to the context. Otherwise, the analyst can pique the reader from a spiritual point of position based on facets of his analysis. This is the 2nd challenge for the literary analyst. Although the position is every bit nonsubjective as possible, careful pick of words is still necessary. If the analysis is in some manner violative, it can go likely that the writer will non be taken earnestly. Another challenge the literary analyst faces is that when spiritual facets are of no importance, the message of the text could be non clear, or different. The literary analyst must hold a general thought of the spiritual facets of the text, to develop a full dimension of its contents.

To reason, when reading the Bible as literature, which is in this essay illustrated with Genesis 1-3 and Psalms 14, 46, and 119, the focal point is put on the literary facets. In Genesis there can be looked at construction, tone, manner, and symbols that occur in literary plants and are originated from Genesis. The book of Psalms illustrates how the literary analyst can look at construction, signifier, and poetic manner. The chief challenge the literary analyst faces is to remain nonsubjective. Other challenges are the careful pick of words and the deficiency of spiritual cognition in order to understand the full significance.

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