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Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics
Baker Academic / 2011 / Hardcover
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Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics introduces the practice of inductive Bible study to a new generation of students, pastors, and church leaders. The authors, two seasoned educator-scholars with over sixty combined years of experience in the classroom, offer guidance on adopting an inductive posture and provide step-by-step instructions to guide interested readers through the process of Bible study development.
But this book is more than a mere "how-to" guide, it also discusses the theoretical foundations and theories that underwrite the skills it seeks to impart to its readers, and those theories which provide a challenge to the methods presented by Bauer and Traina.
Readers should, therefore, be ready to engage in discussion about the merits of various interpretive methods while also learning the skills that enable interpreters to engage with the biblical text responsibly.
To this end, Inductive Bible Study offers a holistic and integrated approach to the study of the Bible, showing how readers can bring together the various facets and methods of biblical study to arrive at original, penetrating, well-grounded interpretation and contemporary application. The process presented incorporates various methods of biblical study to help readers hear the message of the Bible on its own terms.
The book includes a sustained example of the entire process, using 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and many examples of specific aspects or tasks of biblical study taken from passages throughout the biblical canon. It will benefit professors and students in courses on Bible study methods, interpretation, and hermeneutics as well as pastors, Bible teachers at all levels, and church leaders. Indeed, this book is a rich resource for the church as a whole and makes a wonderful addition for church libraries as well.
Following up Robert Traina's classic Methodical Bible Study, this book introduces the practice of inductive Bible study to a new generation of students, pastors, and church leaders. The authors, two seasoned educators with over sixty combined years of experience in the classroom, offer guidance on adopting an inductive posture and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do inductive Bible study. They engage in conversation with current hermeneutical issues, setting forth well-grounded principles and processes for biblical interpretation and appropriation. The process they present incorporates various methods of biblical study to help readers hear the message of the Bible on its own terms.
I have personally used Bauer and Traina's method of inductive Bible study for more than twenty-five years and can testify to its effectiveness for understanding Scripture in ways that are both academically responsible and pastorally relevant. The approach allows Scripture to reveal itself, to speak on its own terms in ways that overcome the limitations and presuppositions of its readers. It allows the Bible to surprise us, challenge us, comfort us, or correct us in the very fashion that the original authors and the God who inspired them would want. This volume presents that time-honored approach for a new generation--and it is a remarkable achievement! Students will appreciate a text that is so immediately accessible and, eventually, will come to treasure this volume as a handbook to be consulted repeatedly throughout their professional careers.
-Mark Allan Powell,
professor of New Testament, Trinity Lutheran Seminary
Many of us learned years ago to begin Bible study for ourselves with observation, interpretation, and application, doing as much as possible on our own before turning to other resources. We may not have known one of the classic sources that outlined this method in comprehensive detail by Robert Traina. Now masterfully updated, with state-of-the-art scholarship and bibliographic references, this tome has been made useful for a new generation by David Bauer and Robert Traina. Part hermeneutics, part exegesis, part philosophy and logic, with numerous illustrations from Scripture itself, Inductive Bible Study does not supplant the standard works in each of these areas but helpfully supplements many of them.
-Craig L. Blomberg,
distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
For half a century, Robert Traina's method of inductive Bible study has taught students the most important critical-thinking skill of all: how to read! His method trains people to attend closely to what is in a text and what is not in a text, to follow a text's argument, and to map its narrative flow. Now David Bauer adds to the collaborative mix his own formidable strengths as an experienced teacher of inductive Bible study and as an internationally recognized biblical scholar. Together they present a finely honed guide to the process of observation, interpretation, and appropriation, enhanced with examples of how to execute each step and with helpful discussions about both the place of their approach in the landscape of contemporary hermeneutical debates and the connections between critical approaches and their inductive method. This volume lays an essential foundation for critical analysis and careful exegesis.
-David A. deSilva,
Trustees' Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary
A couple of years before I entered his classroom, Professor Traina had written the book Methodical Bible Study. . . . Inductive Bible Study is an expansion of that early text by Professor Traina and his colleague Professor Bauer. As I read this sequel, memories of my first reading come alive again. I am giving witness to that early but never-diminishing delight. . . . The passion and patience that permeated that classroom instilled in me an inductive imagination: fiercely attentive to everything that is there and only what is there, alert to relationships both literary and personal, habitually aware of context--the entire world of creation and salvation that is being revealed in this Bible. And always the insistence that I do this firsthand, not filtered through the hearsay of others or the findings of experts. . . . The inductive imagination continued to develop into a biblical imagination. And not only for me. My sense is that this way of reading the Bible--and living the Bible--has been transformative for thousands; probably by now the number must run into the millions.
-Eugene H. Peterson
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