Category Archives: metaphor

The Bible As Literature


Great literature embodies and interprets universal human experience, and this course will examine the Bible specifically from a literary perspective. We’ll take a look at how universal stories, themes, metaphors, and characterizations surface in the Bible, and explore the many literary forms and genres that can be found there: poetry, narratives, epistles, proverbs, parables, satire, and visionary writing. The course is designed for anyone interested in a literary approach to the Bible, regardless of how well acquainted they are with Scripture.


An interest in literature of whatever type will enhance a literary study of the Bible.


  • Rediscover the Bible as a literary work
  • Identify the major genres that make up the Bible
  • Learn to read parts of the Bible in keeping with the conventions of biblical genres
  • Enjoy the literary artistry and presentation of human experience in the Bible

Course Materials:

clip_image001How to Read the Bible as Literature

A guide to the literary aspects of the Bible, this book surveys such biblical forms as narrative, poetry, proverb, gospel, parable, and epistle. It also discusses the literary unity of the Bible.

clip_image003The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

This volume provides a translation of the biblical books along with introductions to individual books and notes. The HarperCollins Study Bible is an excellent resource for discovering the majesty of the Bible.

Additional Materials:

clip_image005The Complete Bible Handbook: An Illustrated Companion
The most important book in Western history, the Bible has had a profound influence on the religious, intellectual, and cultural life of societies throughout the world. The Complete Bible Handbook draws on the latest scholarship to form the most comprehensive and accessible guide to the Bible ever published.

clip_image007The Book of God

Gifted storyteller Walter Wangerin Jr. brings the characters, places, and events of scripture to life in this best-selling, narrative rendering of the entire Bible.

clip_image009God: A Biography

In this slightly mischievous book, Miles reads the Old Testament, book by book, as if they formed a novel with God as the main character.