A concise guide to the interpretive process for the eight New Testament general letters
This handbook is designed as a step-by-step approach for analyzing and communicating eight letters of the New Testament: Hebrews, James, the Petrine Letters, the Johannine Letters, and Jude. Interpreting the General Letters provides important background material for the interpretation of these books by exploring the types and component parts of letter writing, the importance of an amanuensis; the historical background of the Greco-Roman world, and implications of each of these factors for interpreting the general letters.
This foundation is followed by a discussion of the theology of the general letters. Specific consideration is given to the era of promise in Hebrew Scriptures, the era of fulfillment as underscored in the general letters, and how the theology of each letter contributes to the overall canon of Scripture.
Finally, Bateman provides nine steps that move from interpretation to communication: three steps for preparing to interpret the letters, three for interpreting, and finally three for communicating the letters. All explanations include examples in order to develop a student's or pastor's skills for accurate interpretation and convicting communication of God's Word.
Bateman presents a thorough process for exegesis of the Greek text of these letters, with examples and insights into the text that reinforce the value of doing the hard work of exegesis. This is a valuable introductory tool for students who are learning how to interpret the General Letters and a trustworthy guide for pastors.
University of Northwestern