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A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules Paperback – June 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0801033735 ISBN-10: 080103373X Edition: 2nd

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A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules + 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible (40 Questions & Answers Series) + Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 2 edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080103373X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801033735
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This accessible guide to interpreting the Bible helps students identify various biblical genres, understand the meaning of biblical texts, and apply that meaning to contemporary life. The second edition has been completely revised throughout.

"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

Praise for the first edition

"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

"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

"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."--Dónal O'Mathúna, Ashland Theological Journal

About the Author

Robert H. Stein (Ph.D., 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.

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Customer Reviews

This is a great book for understanding Biblical interpretation.
David Casper
Stein does a good job presenting the material in an easy-to-read fashion, yet writes in a very scholarly manner.
theologicalresearcher
This book cleared up the meaning of many passages of scripture for me.
Keith Crossman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dr. Stein's book was a pleasure to read, full of great information, and very well written. I particularly enjoyed the frequent illustrations he used to explain many of the concepts he presented. The only reason I did not give 5 stars to this book is to agree with a previous reviewer that some of the concepts and language Dr. Stein uses require the reader to have a prior understanding of hermeneutics. Having this grounding before reading the book helped me to understand his presentation the first time through, but as I read I was aware that someone without such a background may have experiencd some problems. My suggestion: If you are a seminary student or pastor - read it, I believe that you will enjoy it! If you are an interested lay person who may not have had any experience in the area of Hermeneutics, read it but have someone (Pastor, teacher, friend, etc...) that has dealt with some of the technical language handy to ask questions. This book is a great source of information and anyone interested in studying the Bible would do well to add it to their reading list.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By theologicalresearcher on April 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you're interested in learning the basics of proper Biblical hermeneutics, this is a book for you. Stein does a good job presenting the material in an easy-to-read fashion, yet writes in a very scholarly manner. The book is divided into two sections: The first section deals with the general rules of interpretation (the first four chapters); the second section deals with how to interpret proverbs, prophecies, poetry, idioms, hyperboles, parables, narratives, epistles, covenants, laws, and songs (chapters 5-13). The book is generally geared towards the average lay person or beginner seminary student. It can be used as a technical hermeneutical aid or as a tool to assist the average believer in how to read the Bible properly during Bible studies and quiet times. Stein's book is a valuable resource that should be available in every Christian bookshelf.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Carroll on May 3, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a student of Dr. Stein, I was amazed at how easy it was to read. There are many hermenutics texts available, but most are written on a higher leven than many are used to. This book was actually written so the lay person could understand it without any problems. This is an excellent text for beginning to learn how to faithfully interpret God's Word.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "aphthartos" on October 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a good introduction to Biblical interpretation for the layman. If you're more serious about biblical interpretation at a higher level I'd suggest first having a firm grasp of the basics presented here. My only gripe would be that it seems geared towards a younger audience. Still deserves 5 stars though.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Collin Garbarino VINE VOICE on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am very surprised to find that some people thought this book was difficult to work through. I found Stein very clear and informative. He even defines all the terms he uses frequently so as to remove all ambiguity. Not that these terms are difficult to grasp (ie. implication, significance, subject matter). Anyone who feels comfortable reading something weightier than airport paperbacks should benefit from this work.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent little textbook on how to read and study the Bible from a structural point of view. Incidentally it also teaches useful material on English grammar, on reading comprehension, and on literature analysis. It is marred only by its annoying "games" theme which trivializes it and its transparently apologist interpretation of some key passages used as illustrations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dr. Stein's text is as good a book as he is a professor. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in sound methods to Biblical interpretation. It is easy to read and very easy to understand. A very good book for lay people in the church who are looking for help in interpreting Biblical passages. Very good!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Casper on June 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for understanding Biblical interpretation. I used it for a Master's level Hermeneutics class and found it to be a great asset to what the Professor was teaching. It has also helped me in my daily personal studies in gaining greater insight into what God is telling us through His written word.
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