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Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Revised Edition Hardcover – July 8, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Revised & Updated (2004) edition (July 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785252258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785252252
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is a remarkably comprehensive study of the whole area of biblical interpretation. Thoroughly evangelical, it also interacts with nonevangelical interpretational stances. No other volume available on biblical interpretation does so much so well." - Douglas Stuart, Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Seminary

"Introduction to Biblical Interpretation is destined to become a standard text for students, teachers, preachers, and concerned lay person.  The authors have given us the finest survey of tis vital subject to be found."- David A. Hubbard, President-Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary


About the Author

DR. WILLIAM W. KLEIN, both edited and contributed to this volume.  He is Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary.  He previously wrote The New Chosen People:  A Corporate View of Election.

DR. CRAIG L. BLOMBERG is Distinguished Professor of New Testament.  His previous books include The Historical Reliability of the Gospels and Interpreting the Parables.

Dr. Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. is Professor of Old Testament.  He authored the volume on Ruth in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament, and served as editor for Studies in Old Testament Theology.

Customer Reviews

Book i received it looked brand new and was just like it was described.
If you are doing a serious study of, or taking a class in hermeneutics then this book is excellent.
I found it to be very intellectually stimulating and also very readable.
Brian Ralph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Richard Briggs on September 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This revised and expanded version of a trusted evangelical favourite is, despite what some reviews here suggest, very good at what it does. And what it does is not really what these other reviewers want to call hermeneutics. Fair enough. I actually agree that this is not really a book about hermeneutics, and credit to the authors for keeping that word out of the book title. This is 'steps to biblical interpretation' aimed at people whose default setting is to open the Bible at random and seek 'a word from the Lord'. Compared to that, this book will do much good, and I think it deserves a welcome.

On the other hand, the reviewers who point out the lack of a clear presentation of hermeneutical thinking (esp philosophical hermeneutics) are right, and while I too agree that James Smith's 'Fall of Interpretation' is a great book I simply think that it is trying to do something completely different from this one (and it requires wrestling with Heideggerian ontotheology into the bargain, from which Klein et al mercifully spare us.)

So if you want a sophisticated hermeneutical treatment of the legitimacy and limits of an evangelical approach to scripture then you will not find it here, and I recommend going elsewhere (indeed to Kevin Vanhoozer's 'First Theology'). But if you already know that you want to interpret the Bible within a certain framework (viz the evangelical one) then this is a wonderful compendium of practically-orientated good advice, with an excellent reading list.

So, three stars for what it is good at. Two stars short because the framework and worldview questions really do require something this book does not have.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A. Hebert on January 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Klein, et al's Introduction to Bibilical Interpretation is a wonderful book that does exactly what it was designed to do - provide the best possible education experience on Biblical interpretation and hermeneutics for advanced Bible students. And when I say advanced, I am referring to students who are in seminary and studying for a Master's degree in Theological Studies, Biblical Studies, or Apologetics.

This is how I was introduced to this text. It was one of my main textbooks in a high level (700 level) graduate course at a big evangelical seminary. The book is awesome, but sometimes is it just hard to read because there is just so much information the human mind can handle and comprehend at one time. In other words, this book is written at an advanced level. Just to give you an idea of the level of scholarship that supports this text, in the second chapter about the History of Interpretation, there were 160 footnoted references pointing to external sources, more information, or information that just had to be followed up on by the reader in order to get a full understanding of what was being introduced in the book.

Don't misunderstand me, this book is the best, but it assumes it's audience is an audience composed of advanced bible readers, and advanced students of the Scriptures. That's is not to say anybody can't buy this book and read and understand it. But unless you are used to reading scholarly journals, you are not going to be reading this book like a novel and be done with it in a weekend. If you do get it, you will definitely have in your hands one of the best books on Biblical Interpretation and Hermeneutics that has ever been published.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
All in all, very good. From a conservative perspective the authors discuss the major issues of biblical interpretation, including applying hisorical criticism and modern hermeneutical theories to the Scriptural text. Though conservative, it is not fundamentalistic. The authors provide a balanced treatment of most subjects and give good principles and examples of doing careful exegesis. This would be an excellent work to use in an intro. to biblical literature class. My one reservation is that not enough attention was given to Patristic and medieval exegesis and its modern day application to Scripture. Also, the Treatment of the Deutero-Canonical books and the question of the Canonicity of Scripture was superficial and inaccurate. Catholic and Orthodox readers should keep this in mind when reviewing this book. To conclude, though it has the deficiencies mentioned above and could not serve as a standard for Catholic and Orthodox exegesis, it is a refreshing work that shows that not all evangelical protestants are biblical obscurantists who are unable to engage in dialogue with modern biblical scholarship and present well-reasoned opinions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brad C. Pape on December 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The (obviously well educated) authors state "all believers are competent to study the Bible" on page 262. They provide easy to understand rules of interpretation that we must use to ensure proper understanding yet, also assure us that the Bible is not a cryptogram whose solution is hidden from all but an elite group who know the code (page 150). Therefore, the book explains proper boundaries for interpretation without coming across as a formula list.

They contrast "I just read it and God shows me the meaning" as being potentially dangerous (page 4) with "We must ask God to assist" and "prayer puts one in the position to hear and understand" (page 141).

They assure us that the Bible is an understandable and accessible book, but caution that perfect understanding may not be possible for every sentence (page 149). While we may not always know what a verse means, good rules of interpretation provide that we can always know what it does not mean. Therefore, they do not allow heresy while encouraging Christians not to divide fellowship when multiple interpretations are possible (page 208).

The authors are not opposed to fresh interpretation, yet also point out that "the fresh interpretation must be consistent with the text's historical meaning and with the Bible's total teaching (page 199). This concept is developed further in chapter 7 when they explain the Circles of Context. The chart on page 219 makes understanding the context concept easy.

Genres of the Old Testament (chapter 9) explain that "All of the OT applies to Christians, but none of it applies apart from its fulfillment in Christ." (page 347). After reading this chapter you will avoid the extremes of ignoring the OT because "we are a New Testament church" and feeling a burden to follow all of the law that was not specifically repealed in the NT.
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