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Genres - The Rhythm of the Text - Animate Bible #5

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What does learning to dance the Salsa (thank you Sara Barker!), talking about techno music and learning about Bible genres have in common? All of these things happened in our Animate Bible Study this past Sunday.

Jose Morales – a minister in the Disciples of Christ Church who moonlights as a DJ, was our presenter, talking about genres of the Bible.

He started with music – all the different kinds of music we appreciate and (sometimes) don’t appreciate. He pointed out that you don’t dance to Salsa in the same way you would dance to Rock or Ballroom Music. That’s because they are different types or genres.

The Bible – which is not so much a book, but a library – is also full of different genres

  • transcendent myth
  • remembered history
  • short story
  • succinct parable
  • beautiful poetry
  • compelling gospel
  • open letter
  • inspiring liturgy
  • mysterious apocalypse.

Each of these genres invites us to dance with it in a slightly different way.

The good news is – we already know how to switch it up. We’ve been reading different genres - science fiction, romance, how-to manuals, cookbooks, mysteries, etc. – all our lives. We just need to bring this knowledge and our different expectations – or styles of dancing – to our reading of different bible genres.

Like literal dancing, dancing with Biblical genres is an acquired skill. One that takes practice and patience. Every dancer needs a good partner. How can St. Mary’s Church be a partner in helping you learn to dance with the many genres of the Bible? We began talking about this in class – stay turned to see how we are hoping to help everyone dance!

In the meantime - I highly recommend 2 of the books listed in your journals -  How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.  There's a new, 2014, edition out and available on Amazon.  Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers and Religious Liberals by John Buehrens is also a good place to start.

Posted by Mattie Gustafson with