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The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation: The Center of Paul's Method of Scriptural Interpretation Hardcover – October 19, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is no doubt that Bates offers students of Paul's scriptural interpretation a major, programmatic investigation...it demands serious consideration by anyone investigating biblical exegesis in early Christianity."
--Robert B. Foster, Madonna University, Review of Biblical Literature (8/23/2014)



"Bates's study is notable for its erudition, ranging widely, with an admirable degree of competency, across the fields of New Testament Studies, classics, patristics, linguistics, and literary criticism."
--Matthew V. Novenson, University of Edinburgh, Expository Times (125:3)



"Bates has made a valuable contribution to a topic within NT scholarship that many, I would presume, feel is currently overworked. Bates is well-versed in ancient Hellenistic rhetorical conventions and early Christian exegesis, and this enables him to situate Paul's scriptural interpretation in its historical and theological context."
--Joshua W. Jipp, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Themelios (39)



"[The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation] is written at a scholarly level and should be considered by all engaged in a serious study of Pauline hermeneutics."
--James M. Howard, American Pathways University, Bulletin for Biblical Research (23:3)

From the Back Cover

"Bates offers the novel thesis that Paul, like other ancient writers, had a prosopological method of exegesis--attributing various voices in the scriptural texts to specific characters, especially Christ or God the Father--that was rooted in a master narrative about Christ and the gospel. Both appreciative of and critical of previous studies of Paul's hermeneutics, The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation has significant implications not only for understanding Paul, but also for ecumenical relations, Christian theology, and contemporary hermeneutics."
--Michael J. Gorman, Dean, Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary's Seminary & University

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press (October 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602583285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602583283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew W. Bates is Assistant Professor of Theology at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. Bates is the author of two books, The Birth of the Trinity (Oxford University Press) and The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation (Baylor University Press). He writes with a posture of faith seeking understanding, striving to serve the church, academy, and any reader of goodwill. His primary research interests are Christian origins and the New Testament. [For articles, see http://quincy.academia.edu/MatthewBates]. He has an affection for conversation, hiking, baseball, and Truth.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gmbarnhill on May 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Tackling the grand theme of Pauline hermeneutics, Bates's "The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation" offers a new paradigm for understanding the Apostle Paul's use of the Jewish scriptures in his letters. After surveying a broad swath of scholarship on Pauline hermeneutics and finding it on the whole inadequate (although not unhelpful, to be sure), Bates proposes his own model of diachronic intertextuality, drawing especially on Paul's explicit statements about his own hermeneutic, a fresh look at the earliest interpreters of Paul, and ancient semiotics and exegetical practices. He then demonstrates his theoretical results with a thorough investigation of many specific illustrations of Paul's interpretation from his letters, focusing particularly on an ancient exegetical technique that he labels "prosopological exegesis."

From this reviewer's perspective, two fresh proposals particularly stand out (among many other insights) as worthy of note in Bates's work. These two proposals stand out as significant contributions to the ongoing discussion of Pauline hermeneutics, and as such should not be ignored in future scholarly discussions of Paul's interpretative practices.

First, Bates suggests that Paul's interpretation of the Jewish scriptures was performed through the interpretative lens of the "apostolic, kerygmatic narrative tradition" delivered to him as part of the earliest Christian traditions. He grounds this proposal in a study of Paul's explicit statements concerning his own interpretative practices and elaborates on it through a discussion of other interpretative methods (typology, allegory, etc.) in light of this "apostolic, kerygmatic narrative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tyler on February 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Matthew W. Bates’s "The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation" is the new “must read” on Paul’s use of scripture. For those already familiar with the subject, I believe Bates’ work belongs on the same shelf as Hays’s "Echoes of Scripture," Watson’s "Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith," and Stanley’s "Paul and the Language of Scripture." For the uninitiated, this book puts its reader on the cutting edge of scholarly investigations into Paul's reading and use of scripture in his letters. General readers should recognize that this is a revised PhD dissertation so it includes the trappings of a research project (references to German scholarship, Greek text, and the like). Still, the book is written in such a way that the non-specialist should be able to follow along easily, and Bates' prose is quite pleasant.

While providing the clearest and most up-to-date history of research on Paul's use of the scripture, Bates offers a truly original contribution that is ambitious, and carefully and convincingly argued. He is conversant with New Testament and Patristic scholarship, which adds to the value of his project significantly. Newcomers to the subject will learn much starting here.

The stated goal of the book is to argue a “fresh theory regarding Paul’s basic hermeneutic procedure—that is, Paul’s motivation and matter of interpreting the scriptures” (p. 1). His contribution respectfully builds on the best of previous scholarship and still he makes his own way. Bates finds two prevailing problems with previous investigations into Paul’s use of scripture. First, while scholars have often compared Paul to his contemporary Jewish interpreters they have paid little attention to other early Christian readers.
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