Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Review: "Introduction to Biblical Interpretation"

Most evangelical Christians would agree that Scripture was "given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life."  Most would agree that it is the highest rule of faith and life for the Christian. However, the Scriptures are God’s written Word, which means they have to be read, interpreted, and applied for their rule to be more than just empty talk (not to mention, they must be obeyed). This begs many questions like, "How can one learn what the Bible says?" or "How can we read and interpret the Bible faithfully so we can apply it to our lives?" The challenge of these questions is heightened when we remember that the Bible was written down in three different languages, by many different men, in many different genres, in many different life situations, and over the span of about 1,500 years. How do we understand and apply a message that was not written in our language, culture, or time? The task of interpreting the Bible is a challenging one but one that Christians are called, privileged to take up for "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  Instructing believers in this task is the goal that Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard (Denver Seminary professors) have taken up in their work Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. They have combined their years of expertise and experience in Old and New Testament studies to provide concise, logical, and practical guide to biblical interpretation. Below is my conclusion followed by a link to the whole review:
This is an extensive introduction to biblical interpretation that methodically covers all the areas necessary for a good biblical hermeneutic. There are a few reservations we have had about a few specific points (mentioned above) but, for the most part, we believe this book is extremely helpful. It is written in such a way that pastors, seminary students, or any other Christian can comprehend and apply. There are several overarching aspects of this book that we believe make it essential to every Christian’s library. First, the hermeneutic is a very good one. Though, we do believe that it would need to be supplemented by another work that gives proper credence to the light of Christ illuminating the OT.  Second, the book is written in such a way as to make it an excellent reference resource. Each chapter can be read on its own and each section and sub-section is full of good examples that show how to apply what the authors teach. Finally, the book is full of great footnotes that can give the eager reader enough supplementary reading to fill many, many hours of study on all the subjects they present. For these reasons, we highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of how to interpret Scripture. 
You can read the rest of the review here.

By His Grace,

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