Understanding the Bible: A Basic Introduction to Biblical Interpretation

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More About This Textbook


Understanding the Bible is a learner-friendly overview of the major theories of biblical interpretation from ancient times to the present. Author George Montague surveys the major trends in the history of the discipline and carefully notes the contributions and the limitations of each period. He puts into coherent perspective the diverse and often contradictory interpretations of scripture, culminating with in-depth examinations of Dei Verbum of Vatican II and the Pontifical Biblical Commission's The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. Understanding the Bible is an invaluable resource for graduate and theology students, and for anyone interested in making sense of hermeneutics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809143443
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2007
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 274
  • Sales rank: 859,570
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Questions 5
2 The Bible Interprets the Bible 14
3 The Wealth of the Word: The Fathers Interpret the Bible 29
4 Climbing the Tower: The Middle Ages 52
5 The Path of Independence: The Reformation and the Enlightenment 73
6 The Bible and the Church: The Catholic Response 95
7 From Text to Subject to the Hermeneutics of Understanding 105
8 Later Twentieth Century Developments: Redaction, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Ricoeur 124
9 Other Hermeneutical Methods: Socio-Cultural, Rhetorical, Narrative, Reader Response, Advocacy 137
10 Bernard Lonergan: Critical Realist Hermeneutics 152
11 Community and Canon: The Bible in the Church 159
12 A Study of Dei Verbum: The Constitution on Divine Revelation of Vatican II 181
13 A Study Guide to The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Pontifical Biblical Commission, 1993): Study Questions 211
Notes 217
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2001

    Following the Bible through the Ages.

    Anyone interested in how Bible fared as the Word of God over the two millennia since the founding of the Christian Church needs to read this book. It is a good survey of how Christian scholars and clergymen in different eras understood their task of interpreting the Bible and conveying its message to the faithful. More than that, it relates biblical interpretation to the changing intellectual climate over the two thousand years of Church history and Western thought. It explains the many challenges to conventional biblical interpretation since the rise of rationalism in the Sixteenth Century, and it presents a balanced view of how to remain faithful to Church teachings while enjoying the many advances in knowledge about the Ancient Near East and the new awareness of traditions in biblical literature. The book focuses on the theory of interpretation (hermeneutics) but it explains that difficult subject with simplicity and clarity as it traces the evolution of theory over time. Also, it prepares the reader for further study by referring us to the Church documents on interpreting the Bible growing out of the Second Vatican Council. Very interesting reading. And it helps us understand how we got where we are in the study of the Bible.

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