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An Introduction to Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics: A Guide to the History and Practice of Biblical Interpretation Paperback – August 30, 2000

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mal Couch (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary, Th.D., Lousiana Baptist Seminary) is founder and president of Tyndale Theological Seminary and Biblical Institute in Fort Worth, Texas. He previously taught at Philadelphia College of the Bible, Moody Bible Institute, and Dallas Theological Seminary.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional (August 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825423678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825423673
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Bayliss on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First the good news. This book is well researched, written and presented. It is really a collection of journal articles and other writings that have been grafted together into a relatively cohesive whole. An upside of this is that the book can be 'dipped' quite easily as each chapter is fairly self-contained. It is also a recent book and contains up to date thoughts and research on this subject.

The books biggest strength is also potentially its weakness; it takes a strong, conservative, literal dispensational view of biblical interpretation. In one sense I can't complain in that I take the same view. However, in my opinion, for a book on hermeneutics (bible interpretation) it somewhat puts the cart before the horse. Essentially they define correct hermeneutics as a hermeneutic that results in a conservative dispensational view.

The early chapters do tackle hermeneutics and they make the statement that hermeneutics needs to be tackled with an open mind. However the vast bulk of the book is actually given over to a discussion of the progress of dispensationalism. There are also chapters on the interpretation of particular passages from the dispensational viewpoint. Essentially the message appears to be: tackle the bible with an open mind but then end up ... here ...

If this book were titled 'Dispensationalism and the Hermeneutics that Support It' I would probably have given it five stars.

But as a book upon Hermeneutics it is not, in my opinion, sufficently open minded.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book in hopes that in my own personal quests to properly interpret scripture, that I would take the proper approach. If you're looking for a study on hermeneutics (biblical interpretation) that presents multiple angles for application, this is not the book for you. Though I found it helpful, the book sticks to its guns and defends its points as opposed to presenting multiple ideas and explaining each one. It was more of a thesis than a text book. It essentially spends the first few chapters defending the hermeneutic approach that it holds to through the book (literal, pre-tribulation rapture, dispensationalist), but it doesn't support any additional hermeneutic approach and kind of limits itself in that respect. The book as a whole is a bit scattered, but considering that it is a compilation of several other writings, it is surprisingly fluid. It is certainly a wealth of information on subjects such as dispensationalism, hermeneutics, eschatology, and church history. The spread of knowledge alone rends a good read, but the seamless argument that it presents is really the reason for such a good rating. In all reality, it probably wasn't as unbiased as it should of been, but Dr. Couch is very open about this and doesn't try to hide behind big words and scattered theology.
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Though I am a dispensationalist and agree with most of Couch's presuppositions, I find that this volume is perhaps the most biased book I have read in my 4 (and counting) years of seminary. With constant barrages of emotionally laden assertions he shoots his arrows at straw men and gives zero credibility to the other side. If you have the choice of reading one general hermeneutics text, do not read this one. If you are required to read this book for a class... well... just try not to get too mad at it.
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This book is a must read, an essential for anyone who loves God and His word. It is foundational for a believer to be taught how to study and interpret the bible properly.Read more ›
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First, I must say that I am a professed dispensationalist and agree with most of the author's conclusions. But I must confess the impression that this was more a work of brainwashing and browbeating than a serious scholarly work. It does have some redeeming qualities, but with its inane rants and often poorly-argued assertions, the book does injustice to the quality exegetical work done by dispensationalists over the years. It gives good insight into the author's thoughts on dispensationalism, but should by no means be used as a general survey of evangelical hermeneutics.
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