He had a language assignment that was designed to train him in discerning an author's purpose. Before reading the directions, the worksheet had a short paragraph explaining the possible purposes of the author.
For instance, if an author gives facts, then his or her purpose is most likely to inform. If the author is writing about how wonderful something is, he or she is probably trying to persuade. And, if the author is writing a story about fictional characters, then the author is probably making an attempt to entertain.
After reviewing that paragraph with my son, we read the directions which were as follows:
Directions: READ EACH OF THE FOLLOWING WRITINGS AND DECIDE WHETHER THE AUTHOR'S PURPOSE IS TO:
After wrestling with my son over matters of neatness, sloppiness, and coherency, something started to dawn on me.
If the Bible isn't trying to sell you something, then it's not trying to persuade. But, if it's not totally accurate historically, then it's not making a good attempt at informing others.
Ah! So then, it's for entertainment!
Ha! Now I get it!
OK, OK . . . honestly-- it's not that simple in my opinion. But, that notion sure has given me something to think about.
What was the purpose of any given author of any given scripture text?
That's an important question for everyone to explore each and every time we read.