Reading the Bible: Hebrew Poetry

By Paul Joiner

A core practice for gospel transformation is daily bible reading. As a congregation, we use the Seeing Jesus Together Journal. It teaches us a method of meditating on God’s Word and moving our time with Jesus into community with each other.

So, we are going to have a series of blog posts helping us read the different genres of Scripture together. In literature, a genre follows a pattern. There are internal rules that are followed to say something beautiful. So, knowing these rules will help us commune with God more deeply, because we will understand what He is saying.

It’s one thing to read the Bible. It’s another thing to know how to read the Bible. Knowing how a genre works levels up our bible reading.

Each Saturday, the Seeing Jesus Together Journal has us reading a Psalm. The Psalms are Hebrew poetry, and as a genre Hebrew Poetry follows some rules too.

Poetry makes us slow down. Poetry is short on words and long on imagery. Matthew Patton writes,

But reading poetry is often difficult. Poetry stretches the boundaries of language and makes great demands on readers to fill in the gaps. But if God thought it best to reveal so much of Scripture in poetry, we need to become good readers of it. Here are four tips for reading Old Testament poetry well.

You can read his four tips to understanding Hebrew Poetry here: How to Read Hebrew Poetry

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