Category Descriptions

Content: What is in this writing?

 Overview: A brief discussion of this writing
 Outline: An outline of the material in this writing in outline (not prose) form
 Contents: What does this writing discuss on a literal level? (An outline in prose form)

Origin: How did writing come to be?

 Authorship: Who wrote this writing?
 Date: What year was this writing written?
 Purpose: Why was this writing written?

Background: What were the circumstances surrounding the origin of this writing?

 Historical Context: What were the political, social and religious circumstances at the time the writing was written, or at the time the events described in the writing occurred?
 Recipients: Who were the people this writing was intended for?
 Location: Where was this writing written?

Objects: What are the significant people and places in this writing?

 Geography: Where do the events occurring within this writing take place?
 Key Figures: Who are the individuals significant to this writing?

Canon: What is this book’s role as a member of the canon?

 Relationship: How does this particular writing interact with content from other particular books within the canon?
 Placement: How does the location of this writing within the canon contribute to the narrative arc of the Bible?
 Canonicity: How did this writing come to be included as part of the canon?
 Historicity: To what extent did the events occurring in this writing literally occur in history?
 Authenticity: To what extent are this writing’s internal claims about its composition accurate?

Form: How did the origin of this writing affect its current form?

 Unity: Was this writing originally a contiguous unified whole, or is it made up of different parts compiled at a later date?
 Composition: What source material was used in the creation of this writing?
 Text: Do the manuscripts of this writing indicate that the text has been affected by the transmission of scribal errors?
 Title: How did this writing come to have its current name?
 Style: How does the language of this writing contribute to its genre, literary quality, and meaning?
 Structure: How do the various divisions inherent within the writing reflect the meaning of the writing?

Meaning: What meaning can be discerned from this writing?

 Theme: What distinctive concern or subject pervades this writing?
 Emphases: What are some of the major ideas this writing addresses?
 Interpretation: How can the meaning of this writing be explained?
 Message: What is the main idea the book communicates to its readers?
 Theology: What information regarding church doctrine does this writing address?
 Significance: How has this writing made an impact on its various readers over the centuries?
 Spiritual Content: What is the devotional application of this writing?

Additional Information: Where is there more information on this writing?

 Bibliography: A list of other resources containing information on this writing

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