Tuesday, August 4, 2009

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:
  1. Character: protagonist (primary character), antagonist (conflict bringer), agonist (major character who gets involved in the struggle)
  2. Plot
  3. 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.


Sze Zeng said...

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.

Tremonti said...


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.


Sze Zeng said...

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.

Tremonti said...


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.


Sze Zeng said...

Thanks for the tip, man. I'll keep that in mind :)

Steven Sim said...

Pen is sharper than the sword. Luther got nailed for 95 theses. ;)

Steven Sim

Tremonti said...


In our context, it's not the pen anymore, it's the keyboard. haha

Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations