Unpack the poetry of the Bible

Curious why so much of the Bible is laid out as poetry? What makes the Bible a beautiful book? 

Fortunately, you don't need to study Greek or Hebrew to appreciate biblical poetry. Grow in your knowledge of the Bible with this detailed introduction. 

We'll cover everything from Hebrew Parallelism to the songs of Revelation. Written from a Christian perspective, this course is perfect for homeschoolers wanting to enhance their Bible or English curriculum, Bible study groups looking for a well-laid out guide with study questions, and just about anybody else interested in learning a bit more about what makes the Bible such an inspiring and memorable book.

All our courses are self-paced rather than live, so you can progress at your own speed.

Course Outline

    1. Introduction

    2. Robert Lowth’s Three Types

    3. Robert Lowth Quiz

    4. Some Terminology

    5. Terminology Questions

    6. The Sharpening Theory

    7. Sharpening Activity

    8. Psalm Analysis Activity

    9. Dynamic Parallelism

    10. Dynamic Movement Activity

    1. Introduction

    2. Poetic Devices

    3. Poetic Devices Activity

    4. Chiasmus

    5. Chiasmus Activity

    6. Genre

    7. Genre Activity

    1. Introduction

    2. A Close Reading of Psalm 1

    3. Activity: Psalm 133

    1. Introduction

    2. The Song of Mary

    3. Song of Mary Questions

    4. The Song of Zechariah

    5. Song of Zechariah Questions

    6. The Song of Simeon

    7. Song of Simeon Questions

    1. Introduction

    2. Revelation 7

    3. Revelation 7 Questions

    4. Revelation 11

    5. Revelation 11 Questions

    6. Revelation 19 Activity

About this course

  • $25.00
  • Recommended Age: 14+
  • 15 Lessons + Videos
  • 16 Activities

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course you will:

  • Gain a deeper appreciation of the Bible.

  • Be able to identify different types of Hebrew Parallelism.

  • Recognize a variety of poetic devices in the Bible.

  • Connect the poet’s technique to the message of the text.

  • Understand the influence of the Old Testament on the New Testament.

  • Understand specific Bible books better (especially Psalms, Luke, and Revelation).

  • Learn to interpret, analyze, and discuss complex texts.

  • Enjoy the literary aspects of the Bible while respecting the inspiration and veracity of scripture.

Your instructor

Conrad van Dyk

I'm a Professor of English and I love teaching great works of literature from across the centuries. I've taught everything from medieval texts to children's literature and contemporary British fiction. I'm a strong believer in classical education and the great books tradition, which is why I wanted to create better study guides for curious readers. In my spare time, I enjoy sports, playing the piano, spending time with my kids, and traveling.


“The LitCompanion guide to biblical poetry is an excellent resource for homeschoolers and other educators looking to introduce themselves and their students to the often neglected topic of poetic forms in the Bible. Professor Van Dyk's presentation is highly accessible and fluid, making it approachable for students at a highschool level or above without sacrificing rigour and detail. The quizzes and activities complement the content effectively to help reinforce the learning experience. After completion, students can expect to have a solid foundational understanding of the key skills involved in classifying and assessing biblical poetry. I would highly recommend this guide to homeschoolers and other educators working on the topic—I learned a lot from it myself!”

Daniel Opperwall | Author. Adjunct faculty, Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College, University of Toronto

“This Guide provides a solid foundation that introduces students to the beauty and depth of biblical poetry. Through studying the numerous examples explored in the Guide, students will develop a strong understanding of the various elements of biblical poetry. By applying these tools through the various exercises listed at the end of each lesson, students will develop analytical skills that will serve them well in their study and appreciation of the biblical material and of its meaning.”

Stephane Saulnier | Professor, Newman Theological College

“Dr. Conrad van Dyk has crafted an excellent course that explores the major concepts of biblical poetry within the framework of redemptive history and biblical interpretation. The course material is presented in a way that is clear, detailed, and engaging. The assignments are helpful and pertinent. The student will gain an appreciation for the intricacy and power of the poetic sections of the living Word of God. Highly recommended!”

Tim Schouten | Pastor, Canadian Reformed Church of Prince George, BC.