Understanding The Biblical Law And Narrative Genres

876 Words4 Pages
Understanding the Biblical Law and Narrative Genres
Prophecy, poetry, songs, and genealogy lists are just a few of the many genres found in the Pentateuch. However, the two dominant genres include biblical law and biblical narrative. In fact, 40 percent of the Old Testament is narrative (“Lecture 1,” 2015). Key to interpreting different texts within the Bible, it is critical to understand the genres themselves. Each genre possesses unique features that, when understood, assist in the interpretation of the text. Understanding the key features of biblical law and biblical narrative genres will affect how an individual interprets Scripture in the Old Testament.
Biblical Law
When reading and interpreting biblical law, there are several important features to consider. First, there should be an understanding of the nature of law (“Lecture 1,” 2015). Torah, or תּוֹרָה, is the Hebrew word translated for “law” (Vogt, 2009). Its meaning refers to ‘instruction” or “teaching,” much different than the contemporary world defines the law. Moreover, it carries a “theologically centered” (Vogt, 2009, p. 26) teaching, providing for the ancient Israelites guidance in how to live in such a way that is pleasing to God (Vogt, 2009). Rather than looking at the law from a legalistic approach as is common today, it is important to understand that the Israelites received the law as a gift from God (Psalm 119:111, NIV) upon their deliverance from Egypt.
Second, it is important to understand the
Get Access