Poetry & Allegory – How do we read Song of Songs?

Trusting the Bible

Feb 28 2022 • 44 mins

Trusting the Bible, series 2

Reading the Old Testament: A guide to finding your way through difficult Old Testament passages

Dr Andrew Ollerton meets with academics and researchers from the Tyndale House network to discuss how they approach the Old Testament and wrestle with its trickier passages. Each episode focuses in on a different text from the Old Testament, as we explore the reading processes and practices that researchers bring to their own Bible reading.

In this episode Dr Andrew Ollerton is joined by Dr Ros Clarke to talk about how we read poetry and allegory in the Old Testament. We focus in on Chapter 5 of the Song of Songs as Ros helps us to unpack some of the richness and beauty of Old Testament poetry.

Please note that this episode does include discussion of sexual violence.

Reading list:
Forty Women: Unseen women of the Bible from Eden to Easter (IVP,  2021)
Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins

Dr Ros Clarke is a Christian teacher, speaker and writer. Since 2017 she has been employed as the Associate Director of Church Society where her responsibilities include editing Crossway, their quarterly magazine, and producing their weekly podcast. Prior to that she worked for the Diocese of Lichfield as the first Online Pastor in the Church of England. She holds theology degrees from Oak Hill College and Highland Theological College. Her PhD thesis was on canonical interpretations of the Song of Songs, and she is particularly passionate about helping Christians to read and understand the Old Testament.


Trusting the Bible is a collaboration between Tyndale House, Cambridge @Tyndale_House and the Bible Society @biblesociety.

Visit us online: Tyndale House & Bible Society.

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