By D. Brent Sandy, Ronald L. Giese
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Extra resources for Cracking Old Testament Codes: A Guide to Interpreting the Literary Genres of the Old Testament
As a result, it is extremely hard to find an example of a piece of literature that illustrates any given genre in its pure form. In fact, the idea of a pure form of a genre may be mistaken. Rather than having distinct boundaries between genres, characteristics of genres typically overlap. This does not mean that it is impossible to differentiate one genre from another. Writers and readers usually know the basic 3. For those who think otherwise, see Osborne's excellent treatment of these discussions in his Trinity Journal article cited in note 2.
47 CRACKING OLD TESTAMENT CODES Is Genreless Communication Possible? In order to answer this question we must first he clear about the definition of literary genre. '" 4 In addition to the notion of genre, it is helpful to introduce the concept of literary conventions. Certain conventions, or ways of doing things, are associated with each genre group. '0 For example, though not all poetry rhymes, poets often adopt the convention of making their poems exhibit some rhyme scheme. , beginning a letter with the salutation "Dear .
4. David E. Aune, The New Testament in Its Literary Environment (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1987), 13. John J. " 5. Marlies K. Danziger and W. C. Heath, 1961), 67. 6. " Ludwig Wittgenstein. Philosophical Investigations (New York: Macmillan. 1953), sec. 88, p. 4le. 48 Literary Forms and Inspiration characteristics and conventions of existing genres. Because readers/hearers know the basic rules for saying a given message in a particular way, they can also understand what a writer means when saying something new or saying something familiar in a new way.