Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


19. Introduction to the Poetical Books: The Literature of God's People

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the value of books of the Old Testament being written as poetry?
  2. If you were to write a book on Christian living, would you use the chiasm as your model? Why or why not?
  3. What can we learn about Hebrew poetry from studying the tablets archaeologists have found?
  4. What does the book of Psalms say about the place of music in the life of ancient Israel and of the church today?

Class Activities

  1. Divide the class into groups of five or six. Assign a characteristic of Hebrew poetry to each group. Have the group identify examples in the Old Testament. Conclude with a time of sharing of the results of the group work. Class time allowed: 20 minutes.
  2. Divide the class into groups of four. Have the students write a six-line poem in English in the form of an acrostic. Conclude with each group reading the poem they wrote. Class time allowed: 20 minutes.