The Five Types Of Writing Used In The Bible Are
Epistles were personal correspondences written to a particular party. They were written for a particular church or individual, and often addressed several topics. These letters were written with a familiarity of the areas or problems being discussed and with an apostolic tone of authority. We find value in these epistles in that they provide us with timeless truths on difficult issues that still arise today. Some of the Epistles are Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1 &2 Timothy, etc.
Genealogies, in the Bible, are lists that document a family lineage. These lists of names cover many generations (sometimes even skipping generations), showing lines of descent over many centuries at times. They provide us with an important historical record that is sometimes used to prove who someone is. In the case of Christ, it demonstrates his lineage according to prophecy. Genealogies are found in Genesis 5, Matthew 1, Luke 3, etc.
Historical narratives are factual accounts, written in prose, of what happened at a certain time and place, and involve people, nations, and events. The writers of these historical records often did not make judgments on what was happening. They only reported what actually occurred, both good (healings, miracles, etc.) and bad (murder, theft, etc). With that being the case, when making judgments, historical narratives must be viewed and interpreted in the full light of Scripture. Historical books are Joshua, Ruth, Esther, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, etc.
Parables are a unique style of communicating stories, and are used to illustrate a single point. They were often used by Jesus in the Gospels. There are also a few parables in the Old Testament (Trees making a king, Judges 9:7-15; The Parable of the Ewe Lamb, 2 Samuel 12:1-4, etc.). Although parables always had a message, they were often designed to prevent some people from correctly understanding what was being said at the immediate time (Mark 4:10-12). Some parables in the New Testament can be found in Luke 18:9-14, Pharisee and Tax Gatherer and Luke 10:30-37, The Good Samaritan.
A prophetic utterance in the Bible means “to foretell or proclaim.” The prophets acted as God’s spokesmen, prophesying His message (which was usually a warning and a call to righteousness).
Almost every book of the Bible contains some kind of prophecy. Often times, a prophecy had immediate relevance to the people to whom it was given. But many prophecies have two fulfillment, the initial fulfillment shortly after they were given and a longer term fulfillment. Because of that, when we read prophecy it is important to consider how the original readers would have understood it. By placing prophecies in this context it prevents the mistake of looking for modern “fulfillment” which were never intended. Some prophetic books would be Daniel, Ezekiel, Revelation.