Why are biblical poems important?
Reading a poem in the New Testament book, “Revelation,” will introduce you to the importance of biblical poems. As you will see towards the end of this blog, you can buy my book, Biblical Poems Embedded in Biblical Narratives, at bargain prices. Thank you to Wipf and Stock for making this book more affordable. You do not need to read this book to understand and enjoy the blogs. Reading my book is optional yet might be of interest if you want more information. The blogs will make the book easier to understand. Please feel free to forward my blog to people who might want to read it.
Revelation 21:3-5 please, note that the first part of verse 3 is a prose introduction and verse 5 is a prose conclusion. Therefore this poem is embedded in prose. The poem speaks to the heart, deepening meanings.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples
and God himself will be with them and be their God
4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Prose continues. Perhaps you will want to read a few more verses.
Importance of biblical poetry
Paying attention to biblical poems is important because they are a source of meanings that cannot be expressed in prose.
C.S. Lewis, Christian apologist, said that for him reason is the natural organ of truth but imagination is the organ of meaning. Poets imagine.
Noted New Testament scholar, Luke Timothy Johnson stressed the need for finding knowledge in other sources than empirical science.
Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann, in his book, Finally Comes the Poet, quotes the magisterial Catholic scholar, Hans Urs Balthasar: “God needs prophets to make himself known, and all prophets are necessarily artists. What a prophet has to say can never be said in prose.”
The late John W. O’Malley, S.J. said that he likes the title of my book because it hints at the ineffable. Biblical poems often suggest ineffability that which is difficult to put into words.
Transformation in this life and beyond is ineffable, expressed poetically in Revelation 21: 3-5.
Wishing you joy in exploring biblical poems,
You can purchase a Kindle copy of Biblical Poems Embedded in Biblical Narratives for $2.99.
This offer is good until I am finished with this blog of about 12 bimonthly issues which are based on my book. If you want a print copy at 50 percent off the retail, order on the Wipf and Stock website. www.wipfandstock.com. Use online coupon code: SHAIR Be sure to check out all my books on the Wipf and Stock website.
For new readers:
My goal is to present information about biblical poetry in short, readable pieces. The motto is “Bit by bit, insights lit.” Blogs will generally be 200 words or less; not counting the biblical quotation. The plan is to send 2 blogs per month for a total of 10-12 essays.