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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Grasping God's word is really an excellent intermediate-level book on studying and interpreting the Bible (hermeneutics). It goes into far more depth than more basic introductions to the topic, yet is far more accessible and easier to grasp than more advanced texts like The Hermeneutical Spiral. The approach taught by Duvall and Hays is very practical and easy to remember. To maximize learning you'll want to do as many of the exercises in the book as you have time for. Grasping God's Word is a fine choice both for Sunday School teachers and for a first course in hermeneutics at seminary.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Christians generally know they're supposed to read the Bible and that they're supposed to do something about it, but the Bible doesn't always make sense. The Bible was written to an audience that is removed from us by time and culture, so it's easy to miss what the original author intended to communicate to the original biblical audience. Misinterpretation of the Scripture is unfortunately all too prevalent.

In GRASPING GOD'S WORD, J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays walk us through a clear and helpful process for responsibly reading, interpreting, and applying the Bible. They call it the Interpretive Journey, and it's an imaginative and motivating description for what encountering God through the Scriptures is meant to look like. The authors outline five steps in the Interpretive Journey:
1. Grasp the text in their town. What did the text mean to the original audience?
2. Measure the width of the river to cross. What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
3. Cross the principlizing bridge. What is the theological principle in this text?
4. Consult the biblical map. How does our theological principle fit with the rest of the Bible?
5. Grasp the text in our town. How should individual Christians today live out the theological principle?

The authors spend twenty-two chapters elaborating on the steps of this journey, pointing out important concepts such as context, word studies, who is in control of meaning, and the role of the Holy Spirit in interpretation. The last two sections give us some important insights on specific genres represented in the Old and New Testaments.

The point of GRASPING GOD'S WORD is knowing God more and experiencing the transformative power of God's Word, and this book does a great job of it. There are a lot of really great books out on how to study the Bible. This one is by far my favorite, and I recommend it for anyone who is serious about digging deep into the biblical text.

I received this book for free for review from Zondervan, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a highly readable, entry-level textbook on biblical hermeneutics. The authors assume no prior knowledge of biblical hermeneutics on the part of the reader. As such, the material is conveyed in simple, straightforward terms, along with a healthy dose of wit.

The book also strikes a good balance between theory and application. Topics discussed include levels of meaning, different literary genres in the Bible, and the role of the Holy Spirit. Every chapter also ends with applicative exercises serving to reinforce learning. Duvall and Hays do a thorough job of walking the reader through the exercises by providing a wealth of examples of their own.

I found especially helpful the methodical, step-by-step interpretive process that the book uses. I'd daresay its as scientific an approach as biblical hermeneutics can get. We are constantly reminded to understand the historical and literary contexts of the original biblical audience, to understand the meaning of the text and how it should be applied to us today.

A book that I'd recommend every Christian read in order to interpret the Bible correctly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was for a class of mine and I have to say that although it was a difficult class this book does help bring what the bible says from ancient times to modern times in a smart and thought out way. I like that it shows you how to take a verse that may not be relevant to modern times and then shows the scholar how to interpret the verse CORRECTLY so it applies to todays society and yet still holds on to the meaning of the verse. It also points out how to read the bible without interpreting it in a way that allows people to misuse the bible. By that I mean that there are some so called "Christian" groups that use verses in the bible to justify picketing soldiers funerals or to abuse their wives. This lesson shows us all how to see and read the bible CORRECTLY so that we can understand the verses without using them for our own agenda. I also bought the "cheat sheet" and I will carry that with me throughout the rest of my studies for a B.A. in Christian Ministries. Very handy. And buy the workbook! The worksheets are in there that you will most likely have as assignments. I bought the workbook and ended up making copies for other class members who did not buy the workbook. Its not that easy to copy the assignment worksheets from the back of the chapters in the text book. The workbook is better.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The text book is fine, but this workbook does not provide any feedback. I want to know the answers, but the book does not provide any. It is not a self study workbook. It is for a seminary course. A teacher may provide the answers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is an excellent book for learning how to read and interpret scripture in a correct way. Their 5-step process to understanding the context of verses and how to bring the theological principles to the modern mind is easy to learn and apply. Great for ministers, seminary students, or even the lay person who wants to learn how to make sure they are reading scripture correctly and grasping God's Word for all it's worth! This was one my text books for a Biblical Hermeneutics class and loved it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I used this text as part of a 6 credit hour course on hermeneutics. I did not truly understand how to study the Bible until I read this book. The authors present a simple and repeatable process that allows one to understand the text in an objective manner. The authors present a literary, historical, grammatical hermeneutic that interprets the Bible by (a) understanding what the text meant to the original audience, including historical and literary context; (b) determining the differences between the original audience and us; (c) determining the theological principle in the text; and (d) applying that theological principle to our current situations. The authors also present a valuable discussion on translation without taking sides. Finally, and most importantly, the authors recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit in a Bible study. If you are going to read one book to aid your understanding of the Bible, this is it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of the best books on the market in my opinion. Dr Duvall and Hays has put together a 5 star book in my opinion.
It teaches you the how to's of interpreting the bible. I started reading the book each morning in preperating for my morning bible study and It has helped me tremendously. No more long and boring reading of biblical text and scratching my head saying, what did that mean? This book has taught me how to grasp the meaning of the word of God.

Out of all of the books I have read on the subject, this one is ranked at the top. Why? It is not overly technical and connects with the reader. It is a must read for anyone desiring to understand the bible and apply it. I love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/VideoVerified Purchase
The book itself is excellent. If you are purchasing the kindle version in order to listen to the text-to-speech option, be warned that it can be hard to follow. In my opinion, the pausing is messed up. It pauses longer at commas than periods, which is the opposite of how it should be. This makes comprehending the text difficult. Also, reading out the long lists of references is tedious and the reading of the Bible abbreviations can be confusing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
If you want to learn the fundamentals of how to interpret the Bible correctly, this is a good resource to have in your library. It takes your bible study to an advanced level of understanding God's word and how to make truthful interpretations. This book teaches you how to do word studies, how to determine the meaning of the context, application and how to grasp the Old and New Testament.
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