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Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible

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Long argues that the literary form and dynamics of biblical texts can and should make a difference in the kinds of sermons created from those texts, not only because of what the texts say but because of how they say it. He presents a methodology for taking the literary characteristics of biblical texts into account in the text-to-sermon process and then applies that method Long argues that the literary form and dynamics of biblical texts can and should make a difference in the kinds of sermons created from those texts, not only because of what the texts say but because of how they say it. He presents a methodology for taking the literary characteristics of biblical texts into account in the text-to-sermon process and then applies that methodology in separate chapters on preaching on psalms, proverbs, narratives, parables, and epistles.


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Long argues that the literary form and dynamics of biblical texts can and should make a difference in the kinds of sermons created from those texts, not only because of what the texts say but because of how they say it. He presents a methodology for taking the literary characteristics of biblical texts into account in the text-to-sermon process and then applies that method Long argues that the literary form and dynamics of biblical texts can and should make a difference in the kinds of sermons created from those texts, not only because of what the texts say but because of how they say it. He presents a methodology for taking the literary characteristics of biblical texts into account in the text-to-sermon process and then applies that methodology in separate chapters on preaching on psalms, proverbs, narratives, parables, and epistles.

30 review for Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible

  1. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Keenon

    This was a fantastic introduction to the genres of biblical literature. The narrative and parable chapters were particularly good. My only disappointment is that there wasn't as much on the topic of preaching as I would've liked. I could recommend this book too many non-preachers as an introduction to biblical genre, and I don't think most of them would've said, "But there was so much on preaching I didn't need." This was a fantastic introduction to the genres of biblical literature. The narrative and parable chapters were particularly good. My only disappointment is that there wasn't as much on the topic of preaching as I would've liked. I could recommend this book too many non-preachers as an introduction to biblical genre, and I don't think most of them would've said, "But there was so much on preaching I didn't need."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jake Thurston

    An excellent fly-over summary of how literary-criticism is a crucial element for preaching. It's by no means an exhaustive resource on all the literary qualities found in each respective biblical genre (psalm, proverb, narrative, parable, epistle), but it hones in on the major elements concisely to make it an easily-accessible resource. An excellent fly-over summary of how literary-criticism is a crucial element for preaching. It's by no means an exhaustive resource on all the literary qualities found in each respective biblical genre (psalm, proverb, narrative, parable, epistle), but it hones in on the major elements concisely to make it an easily-accessible resource.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Радостин Марчев

    Добри насоки, но ми се искаше да бъде малко по-практична.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Mead

    Thomas Long provides a solid introduction to the literary forms of the Bible and how a preacher should interact with them. The book begins with a relatively brief consideration of reading different genre and the process of moving from text to sermon. Long emphasizes that the Word is to influence not only the what, but also the how, of preaching. In effect the preacher is to seek to grasp and replicate the total impact of a text on its reader. Long then moves into the various literary forms of the Thomas Long provides a solid introduction to the literary forms of the Bible and how a preacher should interact with them. The book begins with a relatively brief consideration of reading different genre and the process of moving from text to sermon. Long emphasizes that the Word is to influence not only the what, but also the how, of preaching. In effect the preacher is to seek to grasp and replicate the total impact of a text on its reader. Long then moves into the various literary forms of the Bible. His approach for studying each genre is helpful, although not a process for preparing a message. Firstly, the genre must be recognized. Then the rhetorical function of the text is observed, with a sensitivity toward the literary devices within the text. The text is then analyzed to determine how its impact on the reader is created. Finally, Long briefly considers how a sermon might create the same impact in today’s listener. These final thoughts in relation to sermon possibilities are at times a little brief. Long considers five genre – psalms and proverbs are Old Testament specific. Narrative covers both Old and New Testament material. Parables and epistles deal with the rest of the New Testament coverage. Sadly prophetic and apocalyptic literature are missing. Throughout the study, Long’s repeated emphasis is that the rhetorical effect of the literature is to be recreated through preaching. Long’s relatively short book is high on value. This review does not affirm every statement in the book, but does affirm its value for anyone concerned with Biblical Preaching. To only cover five “literary forms” and not deal with the prophetic and apocalyptic forms is unfortunate. However, what is included fits the purpose of the book and is effective in making the reader think through the implications of genre study for Biblical preaching. Originally posted on www.biblicalpreaching.net

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matt Wolf

    Rhetoric of the Bible should impact the rhetoric of the sermon Long examined the rhetorical impact of various genres of biblical literature (narrative; psalm, wisdom, epistle) and argues that the same rhetorical impact should be present in our sermons. This is insight that more preachers need to learn...because not every sermon is the same. Some evangelical and conservative readers may not agree with his mainline approach to Scripture, but his goal of mimicking the original impact of a text is mor Rhetoric of the Bible should impact the rhetoric of the sermon Long examined the rhetorical impact of various genres of biblical literature (narrative; psalm, wisdom, epistle) and argues that the same rhetorical impact should be present in our sermons. This is insight that more preachers need to learn...because not every sermon is the same. Some evangelical and conservative readers may not agree with his mainline approach to Scripture, but his goal of mimicking the original impact of a text is more faithful to the doctrine of inerrancy of Scripture than many conservatives. (If the words and thoughts are inspired, isn't the rhetoric just as equally inspired?) I do think the need to examine rhetorical effect in every text is vital for the preacher, but Long's focus on the various genres in some ways flattens out the impact within the genres themselves. In other words, shouldn't an imprecatory psalm be preached radically different from a psalm of praise? Or shouldn't a thanksgiving section in an epistle be preached radically different from say a warning passage in Hebrews? Long mentioned this in his brief (but extremely good) final chapter, but it would be helpful if this was more fleshed out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darcy Knight

    Much to my surprise, I found myself immersed in a book that is an assigned textbook for a fall preaching class. Long's discussions on the different literary forms found within the bible were intelligent, enlightening, and actually interesting to read: something not always found in a book assigned for a class. Very much recommended for those who will preach, and for those who are interested in the subject. Much to my surprise, I found myself immersed in a book that is an assigned textbook for a fall preaching class. Long's discussions on the different literary forms found within the bible were intelligent, enlightening, and actually interesting to read: something not always found in a book assigned for a class. Very much recommended for those who will preach, and for those who are interested in the subject.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    I'd imagine this would be useful for many preachers (and expect I'll use some of the insights hear), but it may retread some ground for people with a background in literary studies. The chapter on parables raised some flags for me (more personal theological differences than anything). I think this text probably works best as a corrective; otherwise it could provide an overemphasis on experience or moralizing rather than exposition or even God/Jesus. That said, it's a worthwhile read. I'd imagine this would be useful for many preachers (and expect I'll use some of the insights hear), but it may retread some ground for people with a background in literary studies. The chapter on parables raised some flags for me (more personal theological differences than anything). I think this text probably works best as a corrective; otherwise it could provide an overemphasis on experience or moralizing rather than exposition or even God/Jesus. That said, it's a worthwhile read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brian French

    Solid overview of how to (and why you must) allow the genre of the biblical text to dictate the interpretation and delivery of the sermon. Even if you don't preach, the guides for the discussed forms of Scripture (psalms, proverbs, narratives, parables, and epistles) will give guide for your own personal study and discovery of the intended ideas of a passage. This would be a helpful addition for anyone interested in studying and communicating the Bible, and is a quick read as well. Solid overview of how to (and why you must) allow the genre of the biblical text to dictate the interpretation and delivery of the sermon. Even if you don't preach, the guides for the discussed forms of Scripture (psalms, proverbs, narratives, parables, and epistles) will give guide for your own personal study and discovery of the intended ideas of a passage. This would be a helpful addition for anyone interested in studying and communicating the Bible, and is a quick read as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marcus

    One of my favorites, indeed a classic. Persons interested in how the Bible presents itself and opens itself up to different preaching elements should definitely check this out. I highly recommend it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Smith

    I love how long delves into the different literary forms and how to preach from these forms. It will be very helpful in future sermonizing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    One of America's most talented homiletics professors offers some great tips for matching the message to the genre of the text. He even suggests a way to preach from Proverbs. Who knew. One of America's most talented homiletics professors offers some great tips for matching the message to the genre of the text. He even suggests a way to preach from Proverbs. Who knew.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ian Bordenave

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jonah

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Deng

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Pinion

  18. 5 out of 5

    Levi Jones

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kester

  22. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah P

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charles Cowherd

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Engle

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Sudler

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Josh Maurer

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dean

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

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