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Words of Delight: A Literary Introduction to the Bible Paperback – February 1, 1993
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The Amazon Book Review
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From the Back Cover
"We often tend to focus on the doctrinal content of the Bible at the expense of its emotional impact. . . . Ryken emphasizes that the Bible does not appear as a theological outline with proof texts attached but as stories, visions, poems, and letters."
--John F. Brug, author of three volumes in the People's Bible Commentary
"Set forth in simple, straightforward, precise . . . language. . . . Teaching and preaching the Bible as God's Word in man's language can become more colorful, insightful, and challenging when done in the light of what Ryken has done here."
--Peter Y. DeJong, former professor of pastoral theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into four parts treating Biblical Narrative first. Part two focuses on Biblical Poetry; Part Three on Other Biblical Literary Forms and Part Four, The New Testament. Some books treat the Bible as nothing more than literature. But if you are looking for a book that helps you to appreciate the literary aspects of the Bible while at the same time addressing it as the Word of God, this book is for you.
Frankly, I am surprised that someone else hasn't already written a glowing report of this book for Amazon. I recommend it to every Bible student. It is the single-most useful book I have read on the subject. (I would also recommend a work Dr. Ryken co edited, "Dictionary of Biblical Imagery" and "The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible," and a book he co-authored with Jim Wilhoit, "Effective Bible Teaching.")
Oh, why don't I just come right out and say it, "If Leland Ryken's name is associated with it, get it.
The book itself sometimes seems long and difficult to work through, but it is by deliberately working through the concepts that the method of literary interpretation starts to sink in. It is an infinitely valuable exercise that will improve your reading of virtually every biblical text and make it come alive in new ways. Remarkably, it is also an approach less in biblical studies that allows the Bible to speak for itself, and reveal its own literary forms into interpretive frameworks that every-day readers can understand.
While some scholars may contest Dr. Ryken's approach as not the same caliber as other works in biblical studies, this would be a mistake. Ryken does not delve into the ancient contexts or deal with syntactical discourse analysis of the original languages, but he takes the literary forms of the Bible as they are and allows inductive reading to take its full effect in the text. This should not happen at the expense of studying the historical contexts, but it is an often overlooked, and invaluable addition to the discipline.
Furthermore, Ryken interacts with various scholars and delineates a very reasonable approach to difficult passages, especially in Revelation where as he says "wild speculation" is rampant.
But the most immediately valuable sections, I have found, are his tips to identifying "unity and variation" in the Psalms, and identifying the sub-genre categories to "make your joy full" in reading the text, as he would say.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like this book a lot. I enjoy reading the Bible as literature more than any other way because I get more out of it, and this book is a great guide. Read morePublished 5 months ago by KatieScarlett
I really like this book. Used it for a Christian Literature class, but I would read this without it being assigned. Ryken is an excellent author, and his insights are spot-on.Published 19 months ago by Jessica H
I recommend this book to every serious Bible reader.
Professor Leland Ryken's book is so interesting and insightful about the literary features of the Bible and the authors'... Read more
I found this book to be extremely boring put me to sleep often, but had to read it for a class.Published on May 26, 2014 by Valerie
Very interesting and edifying book. I am using it for a language arts home school supplement for high school age, and reading it myself. Highly recommended.Published on March 20, 2014 by Rise Above