The psalm in Jonah 2:2-9 (2:3-10 in Hebrew) is a fine example of a thanksgiving psalm, and everything in its expression and theology would sound fine in the book of Psalms. However, on Jonah’s lips after we have heard the narrative of chapter one, it takes a different flavour. Read in its place in the flow of this book it is ironic.  Read More →

This podcast may benefit from a set of notes, either as an alternative to the audio/screencast or as a reminder (since has a high information content). It is also longer and less fun than most, so if you like miss it out unless later in the series you need to come back to it for the framework… The system suggested here is not intended to be completely scholarly and precise, far less exhaustive, rather it is meant to be simple and convenient, necessitating some approximations and simplifications. Two main genres It can be helpful to distinguish poems and songs. Not so much because songs implyRead More →

The distinction between prose and poetry is probably the most useful way of grouping all Bible texts into just two sorts (though as we’ll see this binary classification is an over simplification). For this brief look at the two sorts (genres) of writing we will ask: What is poetry? With a bonus extra “big word” explained How do prose and poetry work differently? (What are they each good for?) Where is there poetry in Scripture? If you want to have your Bible open turn to Psalm 90.  Read More →

This week’s 5 is a somewhat artificial collection, putting together two different things. Yet both Psalms and Proverbs work differently from the narrative/history and prophecy that comprise the bulk of the Old Testament, and both are used a lot by Christians along with Genesis and Isaiah (while most of the Old Testament lies unread the Two-Thirds Bible). In this podcast we’ll look at how different genres (see the posts here, especially: Genre matters: 1- Why genre matters) work. This will help understanding and applying the week’s readings. In doing this we’ll learn for example why so often proverbs contradict each other! Incidentally in the BibleRead More →