Scripture is literature of varying types. This I have always known. What I didn’t know is how vast the list of literature forms is that encompasses the Bible.
Leland Ryken has gone to great lengths in order to amass this handbook that contains an overview of all the literary forms that we find in the book that God has given us. Laid out in a very readable format, the book examines these forms starting with categories that fall under the letter A right down to the last entry of “Worship Psalm”. Never before have I seen such a comprehensive list.
While I loved it, others may find it daunting to sit down and read through this encyclopedia of sorts; however, I believe there is great value in doing so. I think that I’ll be much more likely to return to this book as a reference in the future now that I have thoroughly read through it. I’ll have a good idea where to look when there is information I need during scripture work or preparation for writing or reading.
Each entry explains the form in layman’s terms, and then gives excellent examples. Ryken does a good job at providing examples from both the Old and New Testament where applicable. One of the most fun parts of reviewing this book? Learning new and nerdy words that I’d never heard of before. Love that.
An added bonus: I think this book will have use not only with Scripture work, but with other reading material as well. While many of the forms are Scripture-centric and unique, there are also many that are universal. Poetry, ancient works, modern works–all seem to fall within the pages of this book. I can even envision suggesting it to my kids for use as they do book reports and write papers for school.
Overall, I am-once again-in all of the creative nature of God in His gift of scripture to the world.
I’m glad to have this book in my reference collection. I am sure that I will visit it again.
I received a free review copy of this book from Crossway Publishers.