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Art. 13. Affermiamo che per una corretta esegesi è essenziale tenere conto del genere letterario, della forma e dello stile delle diverse parti della Scrittura. Per questa ragione riteniamo che lo studio dei generi letterari applicati alla Scrittura sia una disciplina legittima. Respingiamo la pratica degli interpreti che attribuiscono a racconti biblici che si presentano come storici dei generi letterari che escludono la storicità.


The awareness of what kind of literature one is interpreting is essential to a correct understanding of the text. A correct genre judgment should be made to ensure correct understanding. A parable, for example, should not be treated like a chronicle, nor should poetry be interpreted as though it were a straightforward narrative. Each passage has its own genre, and the interpreter should be cognizant of the specific kind of literature it is as he attempts to interpret it. Without genre recognition an interpreter can be misled in his understanding of the passage. For example, when the prophet speaks of "trees clapping their hands" (Isa. 55:12) one could assume a kind of animism unless he recognized that this is poetry and not prose.

The Denial is directed at an illegitimate use of genre criticism by some who deny the truth of passages which are presented as factual. Some, for instance, take Adam to be a myth, whereas in Scripture he is presented as a real person. Others take Jonah to be an allegory when he is presented as a historical person and so referred to by Christ (Mat. 12:40-42). This Denial is an appropriate and timely warning not to use genre criticism as a cloak for rejecting the truth of Scripture.

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