A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules is a book that lives up to its name, and provides a firm bedrock from which to study, interpret, and understand the Bible and its myriad genres.
Senior New Testament scholar Robert Stein helps readers identify various biblical genres, develop the skills to extrapolate meaning from biblical texts, and apply that meaning to contemporary life.
Having undergone a complete revision to reflect Stein's current thinking and changes to the discipline over the past decade, students of the Bible at all levels will find the book effective in group settings, classrooms, and for personal study.
In this accessible guide to interpreting the Bible, senior New Testament scholar Robert Stein helps readers identify various biblical genres, understand the meaning of biblical texts, and apply that meaning to contemporary life. This edition has been completely revised throughout to reflect Stein's current thinking and changes to the discipline over the past decade. Students of the Bible will find the book effective in group settings.
Praise for the first edition
"Stein's work is both a fine introduction to the task of biblical hermeneutics for the novice and an innovative refresher for the veteran teacher or pastor."--Faith & Mission
Robert H. Stein (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary), now retired, most recently served as senior professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously taught at Bethel Seminary. A world-renowned scholar of the Synoptic Gospels, he is the author of several books, including Mark in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Studying the Synoptic Gospels, Luke, and Jesus the Messiah.
Bob Stein is a wise and seasoned interpreter of Scripture, and these qualities are on full display in this wonderfully practical book on how to interpret the Bible. Readers will find here a sound hermeneutical approach that is applied to a variety of genres in the Scriptures. This is an ideal book both for university and seminary courses and for laypersons who desire a guide to understanding the Scriptures.
--Thomas R. Schreiner,
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of Biblical Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
In lucid and engaging style, Robert Stein explores an author-centered hermeneutic for biblical interpretation. The reader benefits from clear definitions of key concepts and creative examples of these concepts in action, as well as exercises that can be used to augment the learning process. An accessible introduction to a complex topic.
--Jeannine K. Brown, professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary
Anyone who has tried to provide sanity and order to the hermeneutical montage that surfaces during home Bible studies will welcome this eminently readable book by Robert Stein. He writes for those new to the field of biblical interpretation, avoiding wherever possible technical terms and jargon, and clearly defining his terms when such language is unavoidable. . . . What the reader will find helpful, especially when using this book for teaching purposes, is its numerous scriptural examples, timely illustrations, and clarifying schematics. Teacher and student are served by the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. . . . Stein has given us a most illuminating and helpful tool for guiding students of the Bible to a clear path leading to a more accurate interpretation and application of the Scriptures.
--James D. Hernando, Encounter Journal
All in all, the book is highly readable (no mean feat these days) and very suitable for use in colleges and congregational adult education; one might even consider using it as a supplemental text in a seminary course.
--Rich Erickson, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Clearer, more insightful, and more useful than other hermeneutical guides presently targeting the same audience of beginning Bible students.
--Jeff W. Childers, Restoration Quarterly
This is a useful book. It is lucid, up-to-date, and basic without being patronising.
--Barry Webb, Reformed Theological Review
"Stein's work is both a fine introduction to the task of biblical hermeneutics for the novice and an innovative refresher for the veteran teacher or pastor.
--Jeffrey T. Riddle, Faith & Mission
Devout, sane, and well informed.
--John Wenham, Christian Arena
Stein has provided a very useful guide to biblical interpretation. While written for people first learning to study the Bible, it contains a wealth of information for more advanced students.
--Dnal O'MathÅ"na, Ashland Theological Journal
Another useful handbook for students, this time in the area of hermeneutics. It differs from other books in several ways. First of all it is, as [Stein] intends, basic, presenting the issues and methods in a 'non-technical way'--no mean achievement in this field.
--David Parker, Evangelical Review of Theology