Understanding Scripture: How to Read and Study the Bible

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Without question, studying the Bible can be one of the most rewarding experiences of the Christian life. Unfortunately, if you are ill-equipped, studying the Bible can also be intensely frustrating. For example, how do we know when the Bible is being literal and when it's being figurative-and how can we tell the difference without a degree in theology? What do history and culture have to do with studying the Bible? Are there principles for interpreting parables, allegories, prophecies? Is Revelation different? Because questions like these are inescapable, Understinding Scripture: How to read and Study the Bible is a must for the individual interested in maximizing his or her time in Bible study.

This book arose out of Alvera and Berkeley Mickelsen's life-long passion for helping people understand the Bible and its significance for their lives. Now in a thorough revision of the 1978 edition co-authored with her husband, Alvera Mickelsen once again shows how principles of interpreting God's word can make Scripture come alive in an unprecedented way.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For a Christian believer living in today's fast-changing world, knowledge of the Bible is important. Knowing how to apply the Bible to present-day situations is equally important. This book will help the lay person experience what the Psalmist wrote: 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.' (Psalm 119:105)."
–Millard J. Erickson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565638167
  • Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition description: $uper $aver
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 637,957
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

A. Berkeley Mickelsen† was Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was the author of Interpreting the Bible.

Alvera M. Mickelsen was formerly an Assistant Professor of Journalism at Bethel College before retiring. She received her M.S.J. from Northewestern University in Illinois.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Abbreviations ix
Introduction 1
1 What Can We Expect from Bible Study? 5
2 How Can We Know What the Bible Means? 14
3 What Makes the Bible Different? 23
4 What to Look for in Bible Translations 33
5 How the Bible Was Written and Compiled 46
6 The Life and Times of Bible People 53
7 What Is This Passage Talking About? 61
8 The Bible Is Rich in Figurative Language 70
9 Parables and Allegories 79
10 What Were the Prophets Saying? 86
11 The Language of Genesis and Revelation 101
12 Understanding the Poetry of the Bible 114
13 How Do We Build Doctrine and Theology? 124
14 Bringing It All Together 132
Bibliography 135
Index 137
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2000

    An intelligent, yet easy to understand discourse on basic biblical interpretation.

    An excellent introductory work on the basics of biblical interpretation and criticism. It examines the history of the cannon, consideration of literary devices (poetry, allegory, hyperbole), cultural and historical contextual influences as well as special consideration to the languages of Genesis and Revelation and the Prophets. Brining the book to a unified end, the last two chapters illustrate how the material discussed constructs a coherent contemporary theology.

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