OT (Made Simple): Something About Narrative 1

The bulk of the OT is made up of narratives or in story form (there are alot of sticky issues but lets not go there for the moment haha).

But not that it has anything to do with fairy tales for that matter. A working definition for understanding OT narrative would be, stories with a particular intent with

“a retelling of historical events of the past that are intended to have meaning and direction for a given people in the present.”

As mentioned above, narratives tells about things of the past. One can divide narratives into three parts:

  • Character: protagonist (primary character), antagonist (conflict bringer), agonist (major character who gets involved in the struggle)
  • Plot
  • Plot Resolution

Now moving on to explaining plots, lets gain some perspective in understanding the basic plot of the biblical story.

  1. God created people in his own image and thus they became his image bearers who were given stewardship of the earth which was created for their pleasure.
  2. Enter the enemy, and what he did was made humans conform to his ‘image’ instead and thus made humans to become God’s enemy.
  3. Following this is the long story of redemption of how God rescues his people from the enemies clutches and restores them back to his image and then finally restores them to the new heavens and new earth.

8 thoughts on “OT (Made Simple): Something About Narrative 1

  1. Hi Tremonti,

    You define OT narrative as,“stories with a particular intent with a “retelling of historical events of the past that are intended to have meaning and direction for a given people in the present.”

    You already assumed that it is a retelling of a historical events. Could it be that it is some legend (becos not sure if some of the narratives are historical) that have been around which the ancient picked up for their own contemporary uses in their time?

    Just a thought.

  2. Joshua,

    I was sure someone would ask me on that (chuckles). I know the sticky situation branding some parts of Genesis as historical events. Peter Enns calls them myth but not as we now understand myth. But i can relate very much with myth (how people of the past understood things) and combining it with some historical event. It is really a fascinating field of study. I’m having a love relationship with OT at the moment but the issues are endless! By the way have you read Peter Enns book “Inspiration and incarnation”? One of my favorites by the way on the subject of how we should understand the OT or scripture.


  3. You have prophetic gift perhaps! 🙂

    I have not read Peter Enns’ book, though I know the main thesis of it and how it cost him his job at Westminster, and his exchanges with other Evangelicals scholars.

    There was one period of time I followed his news closely.

  4. Dude,

    If i were a prophet, there would be too much persecution coming my way haha. But I’d greatly recommend Enns’ book. Reads like a novel! But him having to step down because of a 100++ page book was a sad affair. So if you got the chance it should be in your library.


  5. Wow! Great concise post on narrative. I like what you say about narrative in general. I have to admit this is an area I have not completely studied adequately. I mean i have done my fair-share with understanding the biblical story, but not narrative criticism in general. Thanks for your simple but much needed overview of protagonist, etc. By the way, I am extremely jealous of your new site… possibly full of envy! ha

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