I have had a book by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. on my to be read for so long it was collecting dust. I just picked up and read his chapter on OT Narrative. This chapter at least is excellent. His advice for reading a narrative and finding its intended meaning follows in my summary here.
At least half of the Bible is written in Narrative form. Much of my training in preaching assumed other genre such as gospel or epistle. My adult class will take September to practice these ideas. First sample will be Genesis 37 – the start of the Joseph cycle.
Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament, p.76
- Identify each scene: every change in time or location.
- Analyze the plot: Beginning, Middle, End; Climax and Resolution.
- Determine the “point of view” – what is the focal point that gives the subject of idea that the story is trying to tell.
- Observe if there is dialogue and see if this contributes to the “point of view”
- How is each “scene” related to the “point of view.”
- What stylistic devices does the author use: repetition, key word, chiasm (ABCC’B’A’), irony, etc.