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The Art of Reading Scripture Paperback – October 2, 2003
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Joel B. Green
"'Theological interpretation,' like a modern-day holy grail, is mentioned often, but claims of actual sightings are both few and exaggerated. Ellen Davis and Richard Hays have given us access to a multidisciplinary conversation concerned with and exemplifying the genuine relocation of the Bible within the church — that is, as authoritative Scripture. The result is a bold, impassioned, open-ended invitation and guide to the craft of reading Scripture. This is must reading for Christian pastors, theological students, exegetes, theologians, and preachers."
Patrick D. Miller
"This is surely one of the most helpful books on interpreting biblical texts that has come along in a long time. While the authors do not all say the same thing, there is an impressive consistency of interpretive approach that serves to open the Scriptures for the church so that they truly enrich, teach, and illumine the life we live. Postmodernists, historical critics, and theologians here engage in thinking about how to read the Bible in a way that frees it from the captivity of postmodernism, historical criticism, and theology and returns it to the church as its true lifeblood. I especially commend this book to those who are interested in seeing how rich and deep can be a reading of the Bible that is truly done in community. "
Brevard S. Childs
"These distinguished scholars go a long way forward toward recovering an exciting and coherent exegetical agenda for reading the Bible as Sacred Scripture."
"With contributions from major figures across the disciplines, this book offers a superb look at the present state of play for a renewed theological interpretation of Scripture. Especially helpful is its attention — critical and not nostalgic — to the church's earlier history of interpretation and the place that it might have in the late-modern recovery of theological reading."
From the Back Cover
The difficulty of interpreting the Bible is felt all over today. Is the Bible still authoritative for the faith and practice of the church? If so, in what way? What practices of reading offer the most appropriate approach to understanding Scripture? The church's lack of clarity about these issues has hindered its witness and mission, causing it to speak with an uncertain voice to the challenges of our time.
This important book is for a twenty-first-century church that seems to have lost the art of reading the Bible attentively and imaginatively. "The Art of Reading Scripture" is written by a group of eminent scholars and teachers seeking to recover the church's rich heritage of biblical interpretation in a dramatically changed cultural environment. Asking how best to read the Bible in a postmodern context, the contributors together affirm up front Nine Theses that provide substantial guidance for the church. The essays and sermons that follow both amplify and model the approach to Scripture outlined in the Nine Theses.
Lucidly conceived, carefully written, and shimmering with fresh insights, "The Art of Reading Scripture" proposes a far-reaching revolution in how the Bible is taught in theological seminaries and calls pastors and teachers in the church to rethink their practices of using the Bible.
Contributors: Gary A. Anderson
Brian E. Daley
Ellen F. Davis
Richard B. Hays
James C. Howell
Robert W. Jenson
William Stacy Johnson
L. Gregory Jones
R. W. L. Moberly
David C. Steinmetz
Marianne Meye Thompson
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Top customer reviews
It is in this sense, I think, that this book came to be. That a number of scholars are working, singly or together, to provide for us, in our modern day, guidance for how scripture has been read (even from the beginning) and can be read. How we can utilize, for example, methods of interpretation that scripture itself provides (for example in the Road to Emmaus we are given guidance for understanding how to interpret scripture in the light of the Old Testament and meditating on events of the New Testament, etc).
I am no biblical scholar and perhaps I haven't quite put my thoughts down as a biblical scholar might - with respect to this book. I'm a retired clinical psychologist. But I find that this way of thinking - that the essays here try to get at - is in accord with the the way our minds work when we leave ourselves open - to change, to inspiration, to hearing allusions from one set of circumstances which resonate with other information we have access to. This way of thinking about scripture rings true for me personally and in terms of my work in psychotherapy, in terms of personal growth and development. Indeed, my training as a therapist has powerfully affect how I "read" or "hear" bible texts - which resonate with so much force, triggering other texts in other parts of the bible, all of this enriching the potential meanings of the text at hand. So imagine a stew, a nutritious stew. And in your bowl you have a scoop or two, from which you can glean all the ingredients that went into the stew - its savor, its aroma, its taste, texture, its heartiness and health-giving qualities.
Beyond this book, the editors (Davis and Hays) have also written other very useful books, as have many of the contributors. So if you like this book, you might want to check out the authors' other works - so as to extend your search for understanding scripture.
One last thing: I only wish the publisher would make this book inexpensively available on a Kindle for those of us who already own this book (and similar books). (I am a retired person in a retirement community with limited space for displaying my beloved books. But, since books fit so easily all together on a Kindle, I can still have them accessible to me as e-books. Otherwise when I want to refer to certain books, it ends up being a long search through storage boxes...) Amazon, you take students into account. What about us elderly folk who are still in the game?