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The BIBLE as JEWISH MEDITATION LITERATURE by bibleproject

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The BIBLE as JEWISH MEDITATION LITERATURE
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<center>
# The BIBLE as JEWISH MEDITATION LITERATURE</center>
<center>God bless our community members!</center>
<center>This ongoing series explores the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible. Here you'll be introduced to some of the basic skills necessary for reading the bible effectively.</center>
<center>Episode 4 explores the unique literary style of the Bible that is meant to draw its readers into a lifelong journey of reading and meditation. The Bible is designed as a multi-layered work, offering new levels of insight as you re-read it and allow each part to help you understand every other part. The Bible is the original meditation literature.</center>
click to watch this video
<center>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhmlJBUIoLk</center>
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<div class="text-justify">The Bible is a collection of books written in different literary styles like narrative, poetry and prose.
Most of us are familiar with these kinds of literature.
We all know a narrative when we see one, like "The Hunger Games" or "The Great Gatsby".
Most people can recognize poetry whether it is Walt Whitman or the songs of Bob Dylan
Every day, we are surrounded by prose like news articles or essays.
All of these examples are modern American literature.
They came from this time period and this region of the world.

But there is also a medieval English literature from another place and time.
or Ancient Greek writings from this place and time.
So each time period and culture produces its own unique kind of literature.

In order to read the Bible well, we need to keep in mind that it comes from this part of the world and was produced in this basic period of time.

#### what is unique about ancient Jewish literature?
A key feature is that it lacks a lot of the details that modern readers have come to expect in stories and poems.
This makes it seem really simple.
But, actually, it is very sophisticated literature.
Every detail that is given, matters.
That is great, but the lack of detail means that stories are often loaded with ambiguities.

I mean, take one of the first stories, Adam and Eve in the Garden.
Where did this talking snake come from?
Why did God allow him there?
Why did not Adam and Eve die on the spot like God said they would?
Who is this offspring of the woman who will destroy the snake, but is bitten by it?
Yeah, there are so many puzzles in this story.
Some of these are questions that we have and that are not important to what the author is focusing on.
But some of these ambiguities are intentional.

#### Intentional?
#### Wont that lead to bad interpretations? People filling in the gaps with their own answers?
That is a risk the biblical authors took in writing this way.
We all tend to impose our own cultural assumptions onto the Bible.
But they apparently thought the risk was worth it.
these oddities are really invitations into an adventure of reading and discovery.
#### what do you mean?
For example, the strange promise about the offspring of the woman crushing and bitten by the snake, that word "offspring" is a clue to pay attention to genealogies which, lo and behold , run through the biblical narrative.
They traced the lineage from Eve all the way to King David and his offspring.
In the New Testament, Jesus is connected to the offspring of this royal line.
When you read the prophets, Isaiah connected this king to the suffering servant who would die on behalf of his people.
Then, in the book of Revelation, there is the symbolic vision.
#### do you know which?
It is about a woman and her offspring.
It is Jesus and his followers who conquer the dragon by giving up their lives.
So each part of the story there is loaded with ambiguities, but, all together, it makes sense.
<center>_THIS IS THE LITERARY GENIUS OF THE BIBLE._ </center>
It forces you to keep reading and then interpret each part in light of the others.
You are actually not expected to notice all of this by yourself or all at once.
This dense way of writing forces you to slow down and then read carefully, embarking on this interactive discovery process through the whole biblical narrative over a lifetime of reading and re-reading.
That is,  meditation literature.

In Psalm 1 we read about the ideal Bible reader. It is someone who meditates on the scriptures day and night.
In Hebrew, the word "meditate" means literally "to mutter or speak quietly".
The idea is that every day for the rest of your life, you slowly, quietly read the Bible out loud to yourself and then go talk about it with your friends, pondering the puzzles, making connections and discovering what it all means.
As you let the bible interpret itself, something remarkable happens:
<center>_THE BIBLE STARTS TO READ YOU_. <center>
 Because, ultimatly, the writers of the Bible want you to adopt this story as your story.

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<center>We are building a community with respect among all, this blog is for those who really want to shape their lives through the knowledge of the Word of God.</center>
### Previous Posts:

  [What is THE BIBLE PROJECT?](https://steemit.com/dtube/@bibleproject/what-is-the-bible-project)
 [What is THE BIBLE?](https://steemit.com/christian-trail/@bibleproject/what-is-the-bible)
 [The STORY of the BIBLE](https://steemit.com/dtube/@bibleproject/the-story-of-the-bible)
 [LITERARY STYLES in the BIBLE](https://steemit.com/dtube/@bibleproject/literary-styles-in-the-bible)
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