The name ‘Bible’ derived from the Greek word ‘biblos’ meaning book is an entire library of books covering the whole range of literature. It includes writing, poetry, drama, biography, prophecy, philosophy, science and inspirational reading. Great writers like Shakespeare, Milton and many others had drawn abounding metaphors, similes, images and symbols from this first book of literature which had and still has a profound influence on the writers of the following times. It offers comfort in sorrow, guidance in perplexity, advice for our problems, rebuke for our sins and daily inspiration for our every need.
The Bible, containing sixty six separate books, is a collection of ancient Hebrew and Gaelic writings each complete in itself. The order of these sixty six books in the Old Testament and New Testament is a logical one, giving in general a consecutive history of mankind – from the story of creation in the first chapter of Genesis to the visionary future of the Book of Revelation. The Four Gospels fall into two groups, the first three being called Synoptic Gospels concentrating on the Galilean ministry where as the other gospel shows a marked difference in the substance and the method of presentation concentrating on the Jerusalem ministry.
The narrative technique of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reveals an interesting fact about the Gospels. The four Gospels abound in similes, metaphors, symbols, images, parables, hyperbole or exaggeration and idiomatic expressions. The style is vivid and picturesque. There are very few allegories in the four Gospels and some of the remarkable ones are found in the Gospel of John. Therefore the study of the literary character of each Gospel is of the utmost importance for the understanding of its theological perspective.