When God Tells Stories: The Book of Ruth as a Model Short Story

Dr. Vern Steiner
Dr. Vern Steiner
When God Tells Stories: The Book of Ruth as a Model Short Story
Orpah leaves, but Ruth clings to Naomi

Everyone, including God, loves a good story, and the Bible is full of them. In fact, stories make up about two-thirds of the Bible (the remaining one-third consists in other genres like laws, poetry, proverbs, and letters). In a still broader sense, we could say that the entire Bible tells one grand story. The importance of learning how to read biblical stories well follows on the simple observation that God has chosen this literary form as the dominant medium by which to speak to us.

The first half of this course will explore such topics as: Why God tells stories and why we should listen when He does, how biblical stories are crafted and how they “work,” and what makes a good Bible story (or a Bible story good). We will illustrate the more theoretical aspects with selections from some of the Bible’s most moving, most informing, and most humorous stories. The second half of the course will focus on one of the Bible’s most exquisite stories, the Book of Ruth, both for its literary value as a model short story and for the profoundly informing and transforming message that lies in its pages.

In addition to developing an appreciation for the genius and beauty of the Bible’s favorite genre, students can expect to gain a greater sensitivity to hearing the voice of the Divine Storyteller, as our Lord speaks lovingly and truthfully from the pages of Sacred Scripture. 

Required Texts:

  • Sacred Scripture, the Bible (preferably RSVCE 2nd ed.)
  • Instructor’s notes (provided and included in the registration cost)

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