So we’re at ladies’ Bible study the other morning, and the topic of literary genres in the Bible comes up. Not everything is a scientific treatise (this blog post is not, for example), and we aren’t obliged to read Genesis as if it were one.
Which got me thinking: What genre is Genesis?
It’s not exactly poetry, though it has plenty of poetry in it.
I’ve seen arguments for calling it “myth,” but those arguments always involve long explanations of why the word “myth” doesn’t mean what everyone thinks it means. I’m not sure that’s what is anyway, even after all the explanations.
A romance, maybe?
It is one, but it isn’t just that.
The defining feature of Genesis, it seems to me after two hours of new discoveries in just chapters 1-3 — and I was pretty sure I’d already gotten the bulk of the discoveries out of Genesis on the previous seven zillion readings — the defining feature is that you just keep learning more, and more, and more about God and His relationship with man.
Which leads me to my new name for the genre: Theological Concentrate.
Related: Julie Davis at the always-excellent Happy Catholic blog has some good notes on Genesis today re: Joseph, Potiphar’s wife, and avoiding temptation.
The book we’re studying is Courgageous Women: A Study on the Heroines of Biblical History by Stacy Mitch. So far so good. Doesn’t play around in going right to the thorny topics in Genesis 1-3. Cover art courtesy of Amazon.com.