On the children’s talk again today. Had a few ideas rattling around in my head, including one involving paper airplanes and Isa 40 and another involving something based on a game show. In the end decided to go with an talk introducing biblical genres to children.
Started with an apple and asked how we might go about sharing it out. Out of that discussion, produced my trust Swiss army knife and went through each of the different bits of it – asking if the bit in question (screwdriver, tweezers, can opener, knife etc.) would be the bit to use. Then cored and sliced the apple in to slivers to hand out.
Talked a bit about how the Bible is like a Swiss army knife. Not just a single book, but made up of all sorts of different parts and genres that are like the ‘toolkit’ build into the knife. So the genres of saga, myth, history, biography, lament, prophetic voices (ethics), letters, gospel, poetry and proverbs all help us with the different things we have to be, know and do.
Also, talked about how if we try to make part of the Bible (or a genre) do or mean something else that it’s meant to can end up making a mess of things – like if we tried to cut up the apple with the screwdriver attachment.
It was pretty rough and ready talk but seemed to go okay. The analogy will only go so far – and it wouldn’t be good to limit the Bible to only being a ‘toolbox’ – but it is a useful way of introducing the concept of genre.
(I’ve done something similar for hermeneutics classes in the past – where I’ve used snippets of musical genres in a gameshow format “Name the Genre!” to introduce the concepts of biblical genres).