Identify the genre of the biblical passage

Descriiption
The following is an abbreviated outline of the process of the exegesis, interpretation, and communication of a biblical passage. On your last three reflection papers, you’re going to put into practice what we’ve learned and apply it to three different genres. The goal is to develop good hermeneutical habits as you get some repetition interpreting various types of biblical literature.
For this reflection paper on Leviticus 19:9-18, write a 2-3 page (single-spaced) paper following these five steps:
Identify the genre of the biblical passage (1 sentence)
State your initial understanding of the “generic or intrinsic conception” (1 sentence)
Make observations about the literary, grammatical, historical, and cultural contexts of your passage (4 single-spaced paragraphs minimum)
Interpret the meaning of the passage as you meditate upon the passage itself and upon your observations about the passage (1 sentence)
Apply the passage to your life and to those around you (multiple bullet points)
These guidelines can be downloaded:
Grammatical ObservationsGrammatical Observations.pdf Download Grammatical Observations.pdf
Literary ObservationsTTBE517-Literary Observations.pdf Download TTBE517-Literary Observations.pdf
Here are a couple of sample papers from students in previous semesters (on different passages):
Sample – Luke 10Sample – Luke 10.docx Download Sample – Luke 10.docx
Sample – Acts 4_32-37Sample – Acts 4_32-37.docx Download Sample – Acts 4_32-37.docx
(1) Identify the genre of the biblical passage (1 sentence)
The writers of Scripture used public, not private, genres of literature of their day. When a genre is chosen, then the public rules for interpreting that genre apply. This places interpretation primarily in the public, not the private arena. Therefore, first, you must identify what generic rules apply to your passage of Scripture. Explain what significance this may have to your passage.
(2) State your initial understanding of the “generic or intrinsic conception” (1 sentence)
The “generic or intrinsic conception” is the statement of the controlling idea of the passage. In other words, this is the conception of the whole that gives meaning to every part of the passage.
Normally, this should first be done with the entire biblical book. This gives the proper understanding of the whole book in which your part (the individual passage) fits. However, for the sake of time, we will skip the very crucial first step of stating the conception of the whole biblical book and move to stating the conception of the paragraph or unit of thought you are studying.
If you are studying an individual verse or portion of a paragraph, determine the controlling idea of the whole paragraph or unit of thought (e.g., it could be a larger unit of Scripture in narrative passages). You will need to use a Bible that has paragraphs indicated in it. This is a basic requirement for Bible study. State the generic conception in one concise sentence.
(3) Make observations about the literary, grammatical, historical, and cultural contexts of your passage (4 single-spaced paragraphs minimum)
For the literary observations, you can refer to the handout, “Some Structural and Literary Relationships within a Biblical Book or Biblical Passage,” and/or you can refer to language/observations we’ve discussed in class. Look for these kinds of structural clues within the broader context of your passage and within the passage itself. Look for grammatical insights also that are relevant to understanding the passage. Add any historical or cultural insights that you may discover or that you may have read about in other contexts.
(4) Interpret the meaning of the passage as you meditate upon the passage itself and upon your observations about the passage (1 sentence)
Your goal is twofold:
To discover the meaning of the passage (a public thing)
To get that meaning into your soul
In other words, you not only want to understand the content of the passage, but you also want to internalize both the meaning and the importance of this passage that God has chosen to reveal to us. Therefore, the act of interpretation is to be entered into humbly, prayerfully, and submissively as you place yourself under the authority of God and His Word through the Holy Spirit.
Interpretation is both an intellectual act and a spiritual act! It is both mental and spiritual discipline and also aesthetic and spiritual art! However, the interpretive process must be rooted and grounded upon the very best of intellectual work before you begin to meditate and get the truths of God’s Word into your soul.
(5) Apply the passage to your life and to those around you (multiple bullet points)
This is actually a part of the interpretation process, because application is a part of the meaning of a passage! First establish the boundaries of the original application that was intended by the author. Then, in light of your own needs and those of your group or culture, make a contemporary application that does not violate the boundaries of the original application. Your goal is to get both the meaning of the passage and its significance into your soul and into the souls of those to whom you minister.

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