Thursday, August 30, 2018

Lewis: the Bible as literature

Thursday, August 30, 2018
BEHOLD now, praise the Lord :
    all ye servants of the Lord;
Ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord :
    even in the courts of the house of our God.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary :
    and praise the Lord.
The Lord that made heaven and earth :
    give thee blessing out of Sion.
    —Ps. 134 (Coverdale)
    Those who talk of reading the Bible “as literature” sometimes mean, I think, reading it without attending to the main thing it is about; like reading Burke with no interest in politics, or reading the Aeneid with no interest in Rome... But there is a saner sense in which the Bible—since it is, after all, literature—cannot properly be read except as literature, and the different parts of it as the different sorts of literature they are. Most emphatically, the Psalms must be read as poems—as lyrics, with all the licenses and all the formalities, the hyperboles, the emotional rather than logical connections, which are proper to lyric poetry... Otherwise we shall miss what is in them and think we see what is not.
    ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Reflections on the Psalms, Edinburgh: James Thin, 1958; G. Bles, 1958, p. 3 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 134; 1:1-3; 22:1; 26:8-10; 42:1-2; 46; 51:1-3,7,10; 72:1-8; 85:8; 119:1-8; 121; 136
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I sing the song Your Spirit has taught me.
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