Thursday, June 6, 2013

Discussing Genre: The Holy Bible.

How do you discuss the genre of The Holy Bible without lending offense?

You don't.  Offense is inevitable. 

There's a comment Charly left on my previous post that got me thinking about it:

"Does the Bible have to be non-fiction to have value?"

My initial response:  No.  Of course not.  Are the works of Shakespeare fiction or non-fiction?  They're fiction, though some are based on true historical events.  But would The Bible need to be considered non-fiction to be studied in schools?

Does the genre really matter all that much when you're studying it for its literary content?  Maybe it does.  I guess that's what I'm wondering.  There's so much controversy over how to categorize the Bible.  Here are some screenshots of discussion comments left regarding this very question.

Trying to analyze The Bible as a genre has definitely given help and hinderance to my previously stated theses.  Perhaps I could change my argument: The Bible as non-fiction?  


  1. C. S. Lewis said, “There is a . . . sense in which the Bible, since it is after all literature, cannot properly be read except as literature; and the different parts of it as the different sorts of literature they are.”
    – C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

    I don't think genre really matters if you are studying it for its literary content. It's more important to be able to teach it regardless of what genre people believe it to be. For open minded people, I believe the Spirit can then testify whether it is truth or not.

    I know those who have read the Book of Mormon for its history and literary content ended up inadvertently finding it to be true.

  2. From what I have heard, there are many who believe the Bible to be fiction. Whoever could believe a man could live in the belly of a whale for three days, for example. Fiction or not, I believe it is the impact it has on the individual and on mankind that matters. Is there any other text that has had such an effect?