Phil Ryken on the Bible as Literature
One of the great influences on my understanding of the Bible is the work done by the father and son team of Leland and Phil Ryken. Leland–the father–teaches English at Wheaton College. Phil–the son–after pastoring Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania long enough to get me hooked on his sermon podcast, left to become President of his alma mater, the college where his father teaches. Together, they have worked to help the broader evangelical church enrich their historical-grammatical method of interpreting Scripture by helping us to better appreciate the literary nature of the panorama of literary genres in Scripture.
To that end, the doctors Ryken have edited the Literary Study Bible. In their application of the richness of the literary quality of Scripture, it has been their aim to help evangelicals not draw the same association that their counterparts in the mainline Protestant tradition too often make when they assume that “literary” is synonymous with “fiction,” thereby negating the historical claims and accounts of Scripture.
I found an interview Crossway produced for their podcast in which Phil Ryken explains the heart and thrust of their work to help us better appreciate the literary nature of God’s written word. It’s worth a listen.