Tag Archives: Poetry

Friday Phraseology: Acrostics

Acrostic. A poetic form where the initial letters of each line form a word, phrase, or alphabet. For example, Psalm 119 is structured around the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet (eight lines for each letter). Acrostics are sometimes thought to be mnemonic (memory) devices, but they are more readily viewed as literary or aesthetic devices whereby authors can use the constraints of the form (the acrostic itself) to contribute to the theme. In the case of Psalm 119, a *hymn in praise of *Torah, the author uses the twenty-two letters to show the total sufficiency of Torah.

Source: Arthur G. Patzia; Anthony J. Petrotta. Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies (p. 7). Kindle Edition.