Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Some thoughts on the readings from literary methods: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
I would like to make a few points this morning regarding our readings from a literary perspective.
Did you notice that the first reading and Responsorial Psalm had a similar rhythm to them? In the section we heard from Proverbs, each verse was one sentence long. The first half made a statement, and the second half either strengthened or opposed the first. This was a specific literary (which in Biblical scholarship is broken down into different categories) device found in Wisdom Literature to teach effectively.
Psalm 119 featured a similar structure. Every verse (save two) in Psalm 119 features a synonym for law and follows a similar one sentence in two-part structure.
I mention this because Jesus taught us that, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” While it is important to interpret the Bible first as it stands (the literal level of interpretation) the more we learn about the background of the text—the time it was written, the original audience and its society/cultural and literary devices—the deeper understanding we can have.
Our readings this morning included three different types of literature—proverbs, poetry and narrative. In conveying His Word, God used these and many more to speak to us in the Scriptures. The more we can learn about these methods, the more we can grow in our knowledge and love of the Bible.
It is for this reason that I am excited to begin our Bible study this evening. I hope you can make it and, please God, through this study I hope all who come will grow in their love and knowledge of the Bible.