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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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