The Importance of Understanding Story/Narrative for Reading the Bible

by John Ellis

Is understanding story/narrative helpful, if not important, to understanding who God is? I argue, yes. Most emphatically. God is the Storyteller, and being made in His image means, among other things, that appreciating and understanding story/narrative enables us to better understand who God is and implores us to worship Him. Unfortunately, evangelicals tend to have a poor understanding of art, specifically story/narrative, and this impacts our collective interaction with the Bible and its Author. Sadly, and unhelpfully, the norm when approaching Scripture among evangelicals is less of the Bible being a story and more it being something like an owner’s manual. This is problematic.

My friend Kristin Post invited me on to her podcast to discuss the narrative, the Bible, and evangelicalism. I enjoyed the conversation and believe that it holds profit for those who follow Jesus (and those who don’t). In the podcast, we break down the anemic approach to reading and studying the Bible that is often found in evangelicalism as well as highlighting why understanding story/narrative is important for Christians, especially regarding our interactions with the Bible.

Below is a link to the podcast. Please listen and share. And comment about what you found helpful or didn’t find helpful.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of Understanding Story/Narrative for Reading the Bible

  1. So, if I am understanding what you are saying, a key to understanding the Scriptures is being able to view the Bible as a whole volume: from Genesis to Revelation, God has revealed Himself in a continuous narrative that needs to be grasped in order to make proper sense and to properly apply individual portions of the Whole.


      1. Ok. Very good. I learned this concept both academically and practically during my one semester at The Master’s College. I make reference to this in my continued testimony which is in the works right now. Lord willing, I will have a new blog before too long and the recounting of my testimony, post IFB, will be part of it. (This blog is heavily impacting my decision to get the ball rolling.)


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