The Language of Symbolism: Biblical Theology, Semantics, and Exegesis  -     By: Pierre Grelot
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The Language of Symbolism: Biblical Theology, Semantics, and Exegesis

Baker Academic / 2006 / Paperback

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How does one describe God who is utterly "other"? Neither the concrete definitions of science nor the abstractions of philosophy can provide the words needed. Rather, the words the Bible uses to describe God spring from the mysteries of the human condition: figurative language, relationship language, even the language of imagination and mythology. Pierre Grelot examines the language of symbolism in the Bible, categorizing, explaining, and illuminating the Scriptural use of language to reveal God.

The symbolic language used in the two Testaments of the Bible can suggest supernatural realities without having to define them. And the Bible is soaked in the supernatural: from the parting of the Red Sea and the guidance of God's chosen people through the wilderness, to the virgin birth, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In order to understand the Bible, it is not enough to understand dates, places, authors, and literary genre; we must also understand its language.

This Bible's symbolic language is theological, but it is very distinctive from the theological language of Greco-Roman, medieval, or modern culture. Nevertheless, it is the Bible's symbolic language that is most expressive and best able to engage the cultures where the Christian faith is growing most rapidly today, such as those in Asia and in Africa. Indeed, such symbolic language may now also be well-suited to engaging Western societies, where a rationalist culture has dulled religious sensibilities.

In proposing a way to classify the Bible's symbols, Grelot shows how its language works to make perceptible that which, in the purpose of God, cannot otherwise be explained.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801046467
ISBN-13: 9780801046469
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

How does one describe God who is utterly "other"? Neither the concrete definitions of science nor the abstractions of philosophy can provide the words needed. Rather, the words the Bible uses to describe God spring from the mysteries of the human condition: figurative language, relationship language, even the language of imagination and mythology. Pierre Grelot examines the language of symbolism in the Bible, categorizing, explaining, and illuminating the Scriptural use of language to reveal God.

The symbolic language used in the two Testaments of the Bible can suggest supernatural realities without having to define them. And the Bible is soaked in the supernatural: from the parting of the Red Sea and the guidance of God's chosen people through the wilderness, to the virgin birth, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In order to understand the Bible, it is not enough to understand dates, places, authors, and literary genre; we must also understand its language.

The Bible's symbolic language is theological, but it is very distinctive from the theological language of Greco-Roman, medieval, or modern culture. Nevertheless, it is the Bible's symbolic language that is most expressive and best able to engage the cultures where the Christian faith is growing most rapidly today, such as those in Asia and in Africa. Indeed, such symbolic language may now also be well-suited to engaging Western societies, where a rationalist culture has dulled religious sensibilities.

In proposing a way to classify the Bible's symbols, Grelot shows how its language works to make perceptible that which, in the purpose of God, cannot otherwise be explained.

Author Bio

Fr. Pierre Grelot served as a priest in the diocese of Orleans, France, and was a professor at the Catholic Institute of Paris and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. He is the author of numerous books and encyclopedia articles on exegesis and biblical theology, most recently (in French) Dialogue with a Muslim and Paul's Letter to the Romans: A Lesson for Today.

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