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Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This new 900 page book has truly set a new standard when it come

    This new 900 page book has truly set a new standard when it comes to Christian academic resources. In its thoroughness and detail, usability and accessibility, scholarship and piety, this work is simply unmatched.

    While the book is designed for the classroom, I read through it from the standpoint of an educated layman looking for a resource on interpreting Scripture. This book is more than just a resource, it is a virtual stand-alone hermeneutics course in and of itself, with a limitless supply of suggested books and articles for additional reading and self-study.

    The book unfolds the "hermeneutical triad" as its approach to interpretation. This triad consists of history (archeology, culture, manners and customs, & other historical matters), literature (canon, genres, linguistics), and theology (biblical theology). After explaining their method, the authors more right into focusing on each element of the triad. A brief overview of the history of hermeneutics is given and then the matters of history, archeology and the historical context of the times of the Bible are discussed at a fairly high level, but with many particular examples. This is helpfully fleshed out in a "sample exegesis" section which concludes most chapters.

    After discussing the role that history plays, the authors then devote the lion's share of the work to the discussion of literature. The canon, its development and current shape, is explored as to how that should shape our interpretation, & a brief theology of the OT and the NT are sketched. The discussion of Genre covers OT historical narrative, poetry and wisdom literature, prophecy, NT historical narrative, parables, epistles and apocalyptic literature. Some genres are covered more in depth than others, with epistles and prophecy perhaps getting pride of place. The discussions give numerous examples and flesh out the why and how in an extremely clear and careful manner. No real theological biases are detectable except perhaps a bias against full preterism. The authors don't rush to make judgement calls on how everyone must read prophecy or view Revelation, either. At times I felt they must be historic premil, yet they stressed the symbolic nature of Revelation, as per its genre. The discussions take care to root themselves as much as possible in analysis of the biblical text rather than forcing foreign genre considerations onto textual data. A whole section is also included on grammar and linguistics, providing an overview of discourse analysis and a helpful overview of some technical points of Hebrew and Greek (as well as English) grammar. 12 exegetical fallacies are also covered in detail.

    After discussing the nature & method of biblical theology, the book closes with an exceedingly helpful chapter that offers a method for preaching through the various genres & applying the message of the text to the lives of people today. This chapter includes a discussion of Bible software tools & commentaries & other resources, but spends the bulk of the time discussing how to preach through all the various genres that were discussed earlier in the book. Cautions, challenges, methods, and sample outlines make this section especially practical and useful in the context of a daily ministry.

    "Invitation to Biblical Interpretation" truly is a must-read, need-to-get book.

    Disclaimer: This book was provided by Kregel Publications for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    perfect book if you want to take your Bible study to the next level

    "Invitation to Biblical Interpretation" Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology is a book that is similar to a textbook but is very informative for the average person.Written in an easy to understand manner which emphasizes the history, literature,and theology of the Bible.It gives a clear picture of Bible interpretation. The book is broken down into three parts:
    1. Interpretation:The Hermeneutical Triad
    2.The Focus of Scripture:Literature
    3.The Goal:Theology
    Each chapter in the book begins with a chapter objective, then a chapter outline,and wraps up with a key words, study questions assignments and a chapter bibliography.There is a glossary provided as well as scripture index, a subject index, and a person index.For me I actually found the scripture index very helpful because I used it to look up particular verses that I had questions about.
    Overall if your someone who wants to take your Bible study to the next level and want a book that's going to help you understand what your reading in the Bible then this book is for you. Even though this book is 890 pages don't let the size stop you from using it because it's very easy to navigate.While this book is great for classroom study, its also perfect for personal use, I think every church should have a copy in their library.

    A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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