TIP of the day: Plain meaning/ analytic reading - Learning to understand figures of comparison

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Feb 4 2016 7:14 PM

The way I learn to understand figures of speech will be illustrated in this post. The basic steps are:

  1. Find a figure of speech of interest on the Silva Rhetoricae web site
  2. Run a basic search in Logos/Verbum on the figure of speech name(s)
  3. Open a commentary from the search results.
  4. Open the Bible to the passage the commentary refers to.
  5. Examine to understand how the figure functions and affects the plain meaning in this passage

I have yet to find a label or multiple-attachment note method to document my study that is worth sharing.

Steps as screen shots:

I find that most of us are satisfied with a minimal understanding of classical rhetoric - forgetting that is has a major advantage in understanding the plain meaning. For the NT author, it was what was "common knowledge" at various levels depending upon one's level of education - not something imposed upon the text by the understanding of later generations.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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