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Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching Paperback – August 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 1st paperback ed edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801021979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801021978
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (Ph.D., Brandeis University) is president and Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books, including Toward an Old Testament Theology and A History of Israel.

Customer Reviews

I have recomended this book to many--it is for all people who use the Bible.
Reader
Sadly, I have owned this excellent book for well over five years, but only read it when I was assigned to do so in seminary.
jB [hubmaier.blogspot.com]
Dr. Kaiser is an ardent champion of careful exegetical method that carefully mines the authorial meaning from the Bible.
CRing

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew R. Perry on January 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Walter C. Kaiser Jr. serves as president and Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Told Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is the author of numerous books and publications, as well as one who serves on the board of many Christian organizations. Kaiser's purpose for this book is to bridge the gap between the hermeneutics and homiletics departments of our Bible colleges and seminaries.

It is hoped, then, that this volume will be useful to those who are already in the pastorate and who are struggling week after week to resolve just this problem. But the main object of our work must be the scores of those men and women who are currently enrolled in Biblical and theological studies at the collegiate or seminary level (22).

Kaiser desires this work to be a "type of firstfruits to the Church at large ... [to] either rectify the situation with a good theory of exegesis" (22) in bridging the gap between hermeneutics and homiletics, "or to drop all professional pretensions from our Biblical and theological departments and offer only research-oriented degrees leading to teaching and writing posts in academia" (23).

Summary

Kaiser divides Toward an Exegetical Theology into four parts. Part I presents Kaiser's introduction to this work. This chapter deals with the decline in the area of hermeneutics to discover the authorial intent of the text from the Puritan age until the present. Kaiser notes the "crisis of the pulpit" (36). Far too many pastors ignore the Old Testament, deem the Old Testament irrelevant, or only relate it through the eyes of the New Testament. Chapter Two deals with the definition and history of exegesis.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shawn W. Gillogly on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many wags have said that Kaiser is always moving "toward" something, but he has never "arrived" at it yet. But his works represent good, if preliminary, studies of any subject he writes on.
Kaiser in an OT scholar, so it is not surprising his best work is found in that field. But his introduction to methodolgy is sound, if not perfect. Thorough, if not exhaustive. And it is one that ought to be examined by anyone who desires to be a serious student of the word.
There are a couple of times one would wish he had followed his own methods more carefully, one is in a foray into the NT, where he proposes a unique inerpretation of 1 Cor 14:34 that has since made D.A. Carson's "Exegetical Fallacies." But other than this rather grandiose faux pas, the rest of the work is convincing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By In Process on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I understand why this book is so often recommended to Bible preachers/teachers- in-training. We need to heed Kaiser's exhortation today -- We must return to the single-meaning principle of biblical studies and declare scripture as God's authoritative message to our generation!

Kaiser's words are so applicable today as when the book was written in the 80's, "that which is needed above all else to make the Church more viable, authentic, and effective, is a new declaration of the Scriptures with a new purpose, passion, and power." (page 242) May this stir my heart to faithfully study and proclaim God's Word (2 Tim 4:2)!

Though closely linked, the distinguishing of the terms Hermeneutics and Exegesis is helpful. Hermeneutics seeks to describe the principles and rules in approaching the text (i.e. the theory), while Exegesis is the practice or process to "identify the single truth intention of individual phrases, clauses, and sentences as they make up the thought of paragraphs, sections, and ultimately entire books" (Page 47) For the exegete to be successful, Kaiser points out the need to study the original languages.

There are many practical `how-to's' to move from personal study to proclamation. Some helpful notes:
- Contextual analysis involves studying the connection of thoughts that run through the passage. Read the text repeatedly. Watch for repeated terms or phrases. Watch for grammatical clues. See if the author himself explicitly states a purpose. Make special study of the author's exhortations in the books as it may lead to the purpose of the book.
- Syntactical Analysis. Understand the literary type. Understand how a paragraph is structured: 1.) Isolate the theme proposition or sentence. 2.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark Jones on March 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
In this work, Dr. Kaiser takes us deep into the text, and lays out a very nice and practical framework for interpreting scripture. He does a decent job of hitting the middle ground with format-the book will likely retain the interest of a Hebrew and Greek scholar, yet at the same time is usable by the one who is not schooled in Biblical languages.

I rated the book a four rather than five for just a couple of areas where I think Kaiser may be a bit too stringent in his approach. He teaches an overly restrictive (in my view) principle of limiting interpretation to only that developed theology which the hearers could have been informed of at the time. I would argue that a solid hermeneutic can include pursuant informing theology to be transported in reverse chronology to a passage, if it is done carefully in line with the analogy of faith. It would seem that we short-change the passage in light of God's full counsel if we limit it to the theology resident in the original audience.

Kaiser also is strongly against any "double sense" of prophecy and while on one hand it is the conservative approach, it may be overly so in that it discounts rabbinical history and interpretation, and it tends to "flatten" scripture which is obviously multi-dimensional in fulfillment.

Secondly, at the risk of contradicting my compliment regarding the format of the book, Kaiser takes the micro-analysis of language to a slightly annoying level. I'm not sure which came first, but the (in my view) slight over-emphasis on language in this work seem to contradict his earlier work in _Introduction To Biblical Hermeneutics_ where Kaiser/Silva actually warn about an under emphasis or over-emphasis on Greek and Hebrew language.
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More About the Author

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (PhD, Brandeis University) is distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Dr. Kaiser has written over 40 books, including Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching; The Messiah in the Old Testament; and The Promise-Plan of God; and coauthored An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning. Dr. Kaiser and his wife, Marge, currently reside at Kerith Farm in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. Dr. Kaiser's website is www.walterckaiserjr.com.

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