Must Reads Classics – Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible by Thomas Long

by The Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence on Tuesday, November 7, 2023

In this episode of Must Reads Classics, Dr. Alyce McKenzie interviews Dr. Thomas Long, the Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, about his book “Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible.”



This episode of Must Reads Classics reintroduces "Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible" by Thomas Long. The interview discusses Dr. Long's motivation for writing the book, which was to explore and appreciate the artistic and literary qualities of biblical texts. Long argues that preachers should move beyond strictly historical criticism and instead view texts as dialogue partners waiting for interaction. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing the diverse rhetorical and literary forms in scripture, such as narratives, psalms, proverbs, and parables, and using them effectively in preaching to create different experiences for the congregation. Long's book provides a method for preachers to study and take advantage of the rhetorical power of biblical texts, allowing for more diverse and impactful sermons. The overall goal of the book is to inspire joy in biblical exegesis and to stimulate a love for preaching based on the literary forms of the Bible.


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