Biblical Poetry

Notes from T, Longman III. ‘Biblical Poetry’ in Ryken & Longman (eds)

  • The amount of poetical writings in the OT exceeds the writings in the NT.
  • The NT contains some poetry writings; but there is no NT book of poetic literature.
  • Psalms, Proverbs, Job are vastly represented by the Prophets.
  • Longman considers the apocalyptic, figurative and perhaps the parabolic NT literature as being poetic.
  • Hebrew poetry typical uses 3 or 4 words each line.
  • Parallelism is saying the same thing twice; using different words… C. S. Lewis…though Longman points up that newer research is saying that its not exactly the same meaning, rather the second line adds a new development to the first thought.
  • Parallelism is the dominant device within the poetic corpus; but not the only format…
  • Poetry relies on vivid imagery and figurative speech… a movie of words
  • A metaphor paints a picture of truth; not literalistic truth.
  • The shepherd image is a well known near eastern metaphor for royalty.
  • Psalm 119 and the book of Lamentations is written in Hebrew Acrostic style.  – interesting that this style of literature had a sense of completeness of the topic to it…Watson
  • There are four poem types – Lyric, Epic (historic), Prophetic and Dramatic

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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