Taught by God: Ancient Hermeneutics for the Modern Church
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Taught by God: Ancient Hermeneutics for the Modern Church  -     By: Brandon D. Smith

Taught by God: Ancient Hermeneutics for the Modern Church

B&H Academic / 2024 / Paperback

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Product Information

Title: Taught by God: Ancient Hermeneutics for the Modern Church
By: Brandon D. Smith
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: B&H Academic
Publication Date: 2024
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 X 0.5 (inches)
Weight: 8 ounces
ISBN: 1087752736
ISBN-13: 9781087752730
Stock No: WW752732

Publisher's Description

In Taught by God, theologian Brandon D. Smith invites modern Christians to rediscover the early church’s approach to biblical interpretation, not just as an historical relic but as a vibrant means of understanding the Bible today. Smith introduces three "sensibilities" that Christians throughout church history have shared: a concern for Scripture’s very words, its theological and Christological unity, and its importance for the church. Through biblical and historical examples, Taught by God challenges the modern church to read and interpret Scripture with the great cloud of historical witnesses. 

Short, easy-to-understand, and extensively researched, Taught by God invites readers to discover further riches in Scripture. These riches take Scripture’s divine inspiration and the Christian tradition’s reflections on Scripture seriously in order to inspire ever-greater worship of the ultimate author of all Scripture.

Author Bio

Brandon D. Smith (PhD, Ridley College, Melbourne) is Chair of the Hobbs School of Theology & Ministry and Associate Professor of Theology & Early Christianity at Oklahoma Baptist University. He is also a co-founder of the Center for Baptist Renewal and host of the Church Grammar podcast.

Endorsements

“In Taught by God, Brandon Smith shows how the greatest interpreters of the Bible from the past mobilized certain sensibilities to experience God in and through the text. As we discover how to retrieve these sensibilities today, the result is not a servile deference to the past but balanced wisdom for the church’s future.”

Matthew W. Bates, professor of theology, Quincy University

 

“The premodern way of reading Scripture—more accurately the universal Christian practice until around 1800—was not just a simple method, but, as Brandon Smith shows, a common set of sensibilities: paying close attention to the flow of the words, the theological-Christological focus, and with the goal of personal and communal transformation. Smith invites us to a retrieval of this common inheritance as a way forward from our present situation into the riches of the gifts of the Lord.”

John Behr, Regius Professor of Humanity, University of Aberdeen

 

“Brandon Smith’s Taught by God is a genuine act of kindness. Marked by breadth and depth of learning, Smith ably guides readers through halls of time, helping us sort through the strengths and weaknesses of the church’s biblical reading practices. This book offers resources from Christ’s church for a thick and textured reading of Scripture.”

Mark S. Gignilliat, professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School

 

“Being ‘taught by the triune God’ through the Scripture is a transformative dynamic believers share in common with ancient Christians. Smith opens our eyes to the host of the church’s teachers from across the centuries, whose hermeneutical work can enrich our own understanding. Smith’s beautiful exposé of writers like Origen, Justin, Hugh of St. Victor, and John of Damascus makes this book a vital tool in evangelical retrieval of biblical hermeneutics that can resource each reader as well as the church at large.”

Stefana Dan Laing, associate professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School

 

“What do figures such as Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Augustine, and Aquinas have to do with Martin Luther, John Calvin, and William Tyndale? When it comes to scriptural interpretation, Smith overthrows the myth of Reformers who turned their backs upon the church’s traditional biblical exegesis, and he offers concrete examples of the interpretation of specific biblical texts.”

Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

 

“Brandon Smith offers a compelling case for the retrieval of ancient Christian hermeneutics for the benefit of the modern church. The volume is a masterclass in learning from the early church for the renewal of modern Christian practice.”

Steven A. McKinion, professor of theology and patristic studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

“It is such a delight to see the movement to retrieve a theological and ecclesial reading of the Bible come into maturity. This work invites us to appreciate and practice reading Holy Scripture with wise, ancient sensibilities that show our long-standing communion with the saints.”

Jonathan T. Pennington, professor of New Testament interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

Taught by God offers a helpful introduction to some of the key interpretive sensibilities of early Christian interpreters. Smith not only describes how early interpreters read Scripture, but also demonstrates how we can recover these sensibilities today. This is a great place to start!”

Stephen Presley, Senior Fellow at the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy

 

“Why should we care about premodern interpretation? After all, we don’t hold to their medicine or science anymore. The answers, says Brandon Smith, is that they were taught by God how to read the word of God, and we modern Christians have much to learn from our premodern forbears, especially when it involves our cultural and interpretive blind spots. The church would foster healthier reading habits if Christians today recovered the three sensibilities that Smith identifies as hallmarks of premodern biblical interpretation.”

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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