Guest Blog: Ten Reasons Why the Bible is Literature

by courtvanhaaren

Interesting Literature

By Emma England, University of Amsterdam

Eye rolls, sighs, outraged anger, and accusations of blasphemy are common reactions to the refrain “the Bible is Literature”. Such responses are based on a heady combination of perceptions of the Bible as a sacred text and literature as an art form. It does seems a little churlish though, to claim the Bible is not literature, assuming one accepts the premise that literature tells a good story, has beautiful phrasing of language, depth of meaning, invokes an emotional response, and offers insight into the human condition. Take the following as examples …

Stories. King Eglon gets killed on the toilet (Judges 3:12-30), Jonah gets swallowed and then vomited out of a giant fish (Jonah 1:17-2:10), and Saul visits the witch of Endor asking for help (1 Samuel 28:3-25). These narratives can all be read in their own right but they are also part of…

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