Historical Occasion Analysis

Historical Occasion Analysis



we now come to our time of looking at historical occasion analysis looking at the historical background now we have done this for our course number one when we looked at a pistol pistol area literature pistolero genre and we call it history and culture and when we looked at narrative I called historical background and and when we look at the poetry sections of scripture history is still important the historical background is still important but we call it a historical occasion it's very similar but there are some unique aspects to it but when you when you look at the epistolary literature the narrative literature it's important to determine the historical background the historical situation that prompted the author to either write the letter or the historical surroundings of the event that takes place if it's in a narrative situation when it comes to poetry and it comes to the poetical sections of scripture we have to do the best we can to be able to ascertain or determine the historical background are the historical occasion that encompasses the content of the passages that are written in that poetical style for example if you are looking at a psalm as you are for this course you're gonna want to look at it and be able to determine as much as possible what is the historical occasion and and even though it may not be as obvious you want to still think about what is the historical occasion of the of the poetical passage for the especially for the one that you're studying for this course however when you look at poetical passages in terms of the historical occasion especially books of job Psalms proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon it can be difficult for the you the student of the Scriptures and the preacher to be able to determine that specific historical situation that prompted the author to write the passage or composed the song it may be difficult it may not be as easy it doesn't mean that you don't do the process you don't work through the process but it may not be as easy as it would be for narrative are for epistolary literature but you still got to go through the process of trying to examine the text in such a way that you can do the best you can to try to understand the meaning and the purpose of the poetical passage in terms of its historical occasion why is it there what prompted the author to write the psalm are to compose the some what what's going on here so what's the best procedure to follow what's the best procedure to follow for determine the historical background of a poetical passage now when you look at the procedure you you need to complete an historical analysis of the book as well as the immediate passage you want to look at the book as a whole and then look at the immediate passage and see if there's anything in the immediate passage that would help and give you clues as much as possible you still want to go through the process of looking at the biblical writer the biblical audience any locations situations other people that are mentioned you want to be aware of that as much as possible it may be a little bit more difficult like I said in the in the first five books or in the first five books of the the main books of the poetry sections the poetic old genre those five books but when you are examining poetry you want to be able to ask yourself is there anything here that helps me to understand the historical background if you have a poetical passage that's woven within a larger narrative then it may not be as difficult but when you have like the psalm the proverbs it may be a lot more difficult but you still want to go through the process so complete a historical analysis of the book to the best of your knowledge examine the biblical writer the audience the location situations any other people that are mentioned in there look at the immediate passage begin to look at that and see what you find now when you think about the songs just the songs when you're examining a psalm from the historical vantage point so when you think about the Psalms in terms of the book the Psalms is a hundred and fifty Psalms and they are composed they weren't composed at one by one author and at one particular time they were composed by different authors over different periods of time and they're collected together and placed in a book and they're within the larger book of the 150 Psalms there are five books there have been divided and so you when you're doing a historical analysis you will realize this you will begin to do readings and go back to the go back to what we learned in preaching course number one some of the tools that we gave you some of the online tools use those go to the Book of Psalms and look at the resources that are available and that'll help you but when you think about the Psalms you want to again think about the book as a whole and how its structured and and find where your Psalm fits into that larger structure but when you're looking specifically at your immediate passage the first thing you want to do is look at what we call the superscript material the superscript material now sometimes you won't find any there's no you know no superscript material sometimes there will be some there and sometimes even though it appears even though there's superscript material it may not be giving you any clues as to the historical occasion but the first thing you look for is this superscript material and see what it says now when you think about this superscript material what I'm talking about it's what appears afterwards says Psalm 5 or Psalm 8 so ten whatever the psalm is before verse number one it's between the title and the psalm reference and in the first verse in your Bibles it's what's in italics and usually centered under the word of the psalm title that's the superscript material now in the indian in an original hebrew bible that material was not in a superscript format it was actually verse 1 so if you have a psalm that's 8 verses in your bible in reality it's 9 and the first verse in the hebrew bible is what we know as the superscript is what's in italics verse 1 for us is verse 2 and the Hebrew Bible verse 2 is verse 3 and so on so that means it's inspired it's it's a part of the original writing so you want to find the superscript material see if it's there if it does see what information it does provide however when you when you look at this and you look at the the superscript material it may not provide you the clues that you need it may not say anything that would be distinctive of telling you the historical occasion of when the psalm was composed and for what reason it was composed and and and what prompted the composition of that Psalm are the original writing of that song and so you want to be aware of that you want to be aware of that so if there's if you look in the superscript and there is a superscript material but it doesn't give you any clues then you're gonna have to look at the words and the phrases of the text itself and see as much as you can piece together as best as you can what is happening in that song for example there it may be a psalm that david has written David spoke eventually that song was sung and let's say there's let's say there is superscript material however nothing in the superscript material it just says psalm of David so you know it's written by him but it doesn't tell you any background it doesn't give you any other information so you're asking yourself well when was this composed what circumstances prompted David to write this we may not know specifically you may not be able to point a year and a date at a time or a circumstance or a specific situation that he is facing positive or negative so do you just what do I do you may ask the question what do I do what you do is you examine the verses of the psalm itself walk through those and look at those and see if you mate you may not be able to determine when this event happened or what prompted the writing of the psalm but at least in terms of a you know a date and a time or a historical situation but at least you'll know what David was feeling when he was going through whatever it was and composed the psalm that he did so when you are looking at that look to see if you find any clues within the text that may help you to be able to get a background of what was happening if he's talking about wicked people going against him then you may not know what wicked people specifically he's referring to what time or what event he's referring to that the wicked people were going after him it may in reality that's not as important but if you you want to still think okay I don't have any direct information about the situation I don't have any direct reference there's no direct wording but I still want to look at the psalm and do the best I can to see if I can put together what may have been happening even though I can't give you names and dates of specific events that this Psalm is connected to I at least can tell you what David's feeling maybe he's depressed maybe he's gone through a time in his life where he's feeling depression and we may not know what that prompted what what caused the depression or what caused the joy if he's feeling joy but at least try to get a picture of what he's going through be able to do the best you can when it comes to a psalm just to look at the background of it and say let me look at specifically and is there any clues here is there any clues in the text itself that will help me to understand the song and so when you do that whatever you discover write that down make a note of it any ideas that you have from what you're reading you got to think about that you can't just say well there's no history here you can't just say it that way you got to examine the text even if there's no direct statements that would tie it back to some historical event you got to look at it and be able to determine as much as possible the historical situation at least generally what you think may be happening now in our class time when we meet in our class time we're gonna look at how to do this we're gonna I'm gonna we're gonna have group time you're gonna get into a group and we're gonna give you a psalm to look at and some of the Psalms may have a direct reference some of them don't and and then you work together as a group and we'll talk about that in class and make do examples of that so that's for the Psalms when you're thinking about the books of Job proverbs Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon and other poetical passages that appear throughout Scripture you want to seek to determine the historical data from clues that may be outside of that book as well as from within the passage our passages contained in that book when I talk about passages or Clues outside the book this is kind of what you do for epistles but like if you're gonna understand Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon for example and even the Book of Proverbs the main one of the main characters in there that composed these is Solomon King Solomon you should be able to to have at least a background on proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon you got to know something about song a song about solomon and about his life and about his kingship and about what he did and how he lived you got to understand that historical perspective and when later in the course we're gonna look at wisdom genre and we're gonna take a specific look at that those books of job proverbs Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon we're gonna look at those books and so part of what we'll do is examine the historical background of those books to be able to get some clues as to how that what those books are teaching and what those books are say so you'll need to look from outside and inside from the passage itself and this is where like poetry passages poetical passages that we we looked at in our first class session in our poetry course when we looked at passages that appear outside of those five books in other passages of Scripture and some of the Gospels Old Testament narrative and and so those poetry passages are woven within a larger historical narrative that that definitely has a historical background to it so the Psalms are kind of unique the Psalms are unique in that the text is isolated even though it's within the larger framework of the book of songs there are a collection of Psalms that were written at different times by different people and so there may not be any direct historical occasion that it links back to but there's still something that prompted the writer to write that and the only way you can determine that is by looking at the text itself so for all other poetical passages from the for the wisdom genre we call it and from outside of those five books that appear another passage of Scripture it's very similar look at the historical background outside of the tacks clues that are outside the text and in clues that are within the passage itself once you have completed this once you have as much details as you can write out for yourself then you want to go back to your stanza analysis summaries and expand on those incorporate what you've learned into that and that's what we'll work on in class I'll teach you how to do that how to take the summaries and at every step of the way incorporate what you're learning back into those summaries expand those summary statements expand those summary ideas so that you can get a bigger fuller picture of the structure and the flow of the of the passage that you are studying so you'll take that historical data incorporate it back into that and we'll do that we'll do examples of that in class so you'll see an example here for Psalm three biblical writer the biblical audience location and situations now that I was able to write a lot more here because if you look in Psalm three there is a historical reference point in the superscript material and so I was able to go through and write out as much information as I could that superscript material what it says in there about Absalom took me back to second Samuel the history of second sim of of Absalom David in second Samuel and so I was able to go back and look at that and write this out so Psalm three is an example like that we're gonna be looking at passages in class that don't have any direct historical reference point and I'll show you how to work through those but what I want you to do is start with your passage that you have I want you to look at it I want you to think through the historical background put together as much information as you can you the resources that we have do as much as you can and bring that worksheet to class with you when you come to class you

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