Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture
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Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture

Baker Academic / 2015 / Hardcover

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Stock No: WW039775

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Product Description

Renowned scholar Craig Bartholomew taps into his main area of expertise to help seminarians pursue a lifetime of biblical interpretation. Integrating the latest research, he provides a textbook that is robustly theological in its approach, takes philosophical hermeneutics seriously, and argues that biblical exegesis should be centered in the context and service of the church in Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 640
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801039770
ISBN-13: 9780801039775

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Publisher's Description

Renowned scholar Craig Bartholomew, coauthor of the bestselling textbook The Drama of Scripture (75,000 copies sold), writes in his main area of expertise--hermeneutics--to help seminarians pursue a lifetime of biblical interpretation. Integrating the latest research in theology, philosophy, and biblical studies, this substantive hermeneutics textbook is robustly theological in its approach, takes philosophical hermeneutics seriously, keeps the focus throughout on the actual process of interpreting Scripture, and argues that biblical interpretation should be centered in the context and service of the church--an approach that helps us hear God's address today.

Author Bio

Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He founded the internationally recognized Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar and is coauthor of Living at the Crossroads and Christian Philosophy.


This impressive book builds upon and develops the many insights of the Scripture and Hermeneutics series, which Bartholomew coedited. It therefore includes sophisticated work on truth, listening to Scripture, biblical theology, tradition, historical-critical methods, canon, philosophy, history, literature, theology, and academic inquiry. It embodies detailed discussion with leading thinkers in these fields and offers many wise and commonsense evaluations. Above all it stresses the need to listen to Scripture and to God. I warmly commend this book.
-Anthony C. Thiselton,
emeritus professor of Christian theology, University of Nottingham

Craig Bartholomew has been laboring in the fields of biblical interpretation and hermeneutics for years, and this book represents the abundant harvest, gathering fruit from many academic fields. The subtitle means what it says: Bartholomew enlists various academic disciplines in the task of hearing God's Word in Scripture. He is explicit about his trinitarian commitments and about the goal of biblical interpretation as obedient attention to God's address. There is an entire chapter on devotional listening, the fundamental posture from which to undertake exegetical analysis. Other chapters cover the story of the Bible (biblical theology) and the history of its interpretation. Bartholomew also provides a constructive account of how biblical interpretation engages philosophy, history, literature, and theology.
-Kevin J. Vanhoozer,
Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Any individual interested in biblical hermeneutics should have this volume on a readily accessible shelf. Any classes on the subject should have it as an indispensable vade mecum. The chapters on the history of biblical interpretation are fascinating in themselves, and the treatment of individual subjects, like philosophy and hermeneutics, is never less than well informed and intriguing. Highly recommended.
-James D. G. Dunn,
Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University

Craig Bartholomew offers his readers a wide-ranging conversation on biblical hermeneutics. Drawing on an impressive array of historical and contemporary voices, he explores biblical interpretation and its intersection with such companion disciplines as philosophy, biblical theology, and homiletics. He puts forth an academically seasoned hermeneutic to be performed in the presence of God and centered in the church--what he refers to as 'faith-full' biblical interpretation. Bartholomew's gift to his reader is the opportunity to think deeply about Scripture in the company of a seasoned scholar.
-Jeannine Brown,
professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary San Diego

Bartholomew has provided an exhaustive history of interpretation and philosophical hermeneutics in the key of narrative theology, with forays into trinitarian exegesis and lectio divina. The result is a smorgasbord of evangelical learning in the service of hearing God's word in our day. A lifetime of wide reading and reflection has gone into this project.
-Christopher Seitz,
senior research professor of biblical interpretation, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

Reading this book is like feasting on a banquet of many courses. With consummate skill Bartholomew weaves together theology, philosophy, history, and exegesis, demonstrating convincingly that biblical interpretation attains its end only when Scripture is heard in faith as God's address. This book will undoubtedly be a landmark in hermeneutics for many years to come.
-Mary Healy,
associate professor of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics is a triumph. Craig Bartholomew provides a clear and gripping account of what it means to hear Scripture as God's Word. On this view the Bible is not primarily an object of study to be dissected but a dynamic force that shapes our living and thinking. God speaks to us through Scripture, and we are changed people. However, this is no anti-intellectual rejection of the life of reason. Rather, Bartholomew shows how biblical hermeneutics can shape and renew scholarly work at the highest levels, including the study of the Bible itself.
-C. Stephen Evans,
University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University; professorial fellow, Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University

The interpretation of the Bible has been held captive by methodological reason in the context of the academy for the past few centuries in both the liberal and evangelical traditions. Certainly, there have been great gains. However, these have come at great cost. Interpretative practices have often been separated from a careful and prayerful listening for God's address. Believing that rigorous scholarship and an attentive listening to the Spirit belong together, Craig Bartholomew repositions the insights of hermeneutical reflection squarely within the larger context of listening to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. The question at every point is, how does this hermeneutical approach deepen our listening for God's address? This is a hermeneutical approach I wish I had been taught early in my theological education.
-Michael W. Goheen,
director of theological education and scholar in residence, Missional Training Center-Phoenix

A magisterial textbook, but much more than a textbook. Every aspect of biblical hermeneutics is thoroughly explored in a readable, engaging, and stimulating manner. The real joy of the book, however, lies in the subtitle: 'for hearing God in Scripture.' This transforms the hermeneutical task from an exercise between a reader and an object (the Bible) to an encounter between a listener and a person (God). The former requires good and proper methods, tools, and wisdom, all of which matter greatly. The latter calls for response, faith, repentance, and obedience, all of which matter even more. Bartholomew not only explains both dimensions but also models them again and again. From the subtitle on the opening page, we move in a fitting way to the closing chapter on preaching the Bible. For if the ecclesial context of authentic biblical hermeneutics is crucial, then the church needs to know again the story we are in, which requires renewed commitment to preaching the whole counsel of God from the whole canon of Scripture. This book provides ample resources for just such a challenge.
-Christopher J. H. Wright,
Langham Partnership

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  1. John M Kight
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An Important Step Forward in Biblical Hermeneutics
    January 23, 2016
    John M Kight
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Craig G. Bartholomew (Ph.D, Bristol University) is an engaging and articulate scholarly mind whose work has visibly reached across interdisciplinary lines. Bartholomew is the H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy and Religion & Theology at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He is the founder of the internationally recognized Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar and is the author or co-author of several books, The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story, Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction, Ecclesiastes in the acclaimed Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, and many more. Most recently, Bartholomew has released what can only be described as the culmination of his longstanding efforts within the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar, a massive introduction to biblical interpretation centered firmly within the context and service of the church.

    Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture is divided into five major sections: (1) approaching biblical interpretation, (2) biblical interpretation and biblical theology, (3) the story of biblical interpretation, (4) biblical interpretation and the academic disciplines, and (5) the goal of biblical interpretation. As the subtitle states quite clearly, Bartholomew has provided a comprehensive framework, and each of these major sections are judiciously presented. The book opens by positioning the conversation amid the Trinitarian frame that will ultimately function as the confines for the pages ahead. Bartholomew explains, . . . our understanding of the world must take as its starting point the God revealed in Scripture and articulated tradition. This means that any biblical hermeneutic worth its salt must be Christocentric . . . [thus] precisely because such a hermeneutic is Christocentric, it will be Trinitarian (p. 5-6).

    According to Bartholomew, a Trinitarian hermeneutic as such approaches the Bible as (1) authoritative Scripture, (2) a whole, (3) for the ecclesiastical body, (4) exalts and humbles academic interpretation, (5) a discrete witness of the testaments, (6) discerns the goal of reading the Bible, (7) does not close down but opens up interpretation of the Bible, and (8) takes Gods address for all life seriously (p. 8-15). It is here that Bartholomew is able to conclude we hear from God in our efforts of seeking to understand and interpret the biblical text, and it is here that the book unfolds in its discussion on biblical theology and hermeneutics, the history of hermeneutics from biblical antiquity to modernity, the intersection between the academic disciplines of philosophy, history, literature, and theology with hermeneutics, and lastly the overarching goal of biblical hermeneuticshearing Gods address in the Scriptures.

    Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics provides a plethora of important insights. Bartholomew is well-read (to run the risk of an understatement) and the reader will quickly identify the familiarity that he brings with almost any subject under the hermeneutical sun and beyond. Moreover, as one firmly planted in the Theological Interpretation of Scripture movement, Bartholomew has provided the reader with a unique perspective and contribution that will complement other hermeneutics texts wellespecially given the detail and length of this volume. The first two chapters are among the best for those seeking to grasp the aim of Bartholomews hermeneutical vision. I found that as Bartholomew positioned the task of hermeneutics into the expectancy of listening and hearing God in the Scriptures, the trenches that follow became much easier to digest. Thus, by spending intentional time in the initial section of the book, the reader is able to better recognize the framework that was being built, and thus, interact with the content thereafter.

    Still, the most helpful chapters of the book are discovered under the fourth major section. It is here that Bartholomew presents for the reader the disciplinary intersection between biblical interpretation and various academic disciplines. Not only does this section display Bartholomews ability to interact with other fields of academic study, but it shows the level of competency that he exhibits for the task of biblical hermeneutics, as well as the scope of this disciplines reach beyond the confines of its own intentions. Another section that was helpful was the second section. Here Bartholomew developed a place for biblical theology within the task of hermeneutics. This is an important peripheral observation for the reader to grasp if he or she is to function within the Trinitarian approach presented in the preceding chapters. In other words, it is here that Bartholomew rightly places the whole of Scripture into the conversation and helpfully articulates with such as important if we are going to seek to hear from God therein.

    Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture is an excellent introduction to the task of biblical interpretation. Craig G. Bartholomew has brought a host of interesting insights and observations from decades of experience. Bartholomew has produced a volume that is both comprehensive and readable, and his hermeneutical vision captures the essence of biblical revelation well. Bartholomew has bypassed the traditional approach of the task of biblical hermeneutics by intentionally developing a place for the interpreter to encounter God, rather than merely cultivating an understanding of a book. Bartholomew is comprehensive, judicious, and generous in his interaction. His vision is centered firmly within the context and service of the church, and the payoff for the reader is immediate. This is a monumental achievement in the field of biblical interpretation and the pastor, teacher or student would do well in referring to it often.

    I received a review copy of these books in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. Teacher
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    January 19, 2016
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The author gives clear, concise, and relevant information as you delve into the topic. A good reference book to have access to.
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