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Biblical Interpretation: Past & Present Paperback – March 28, 2000
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The latter point on dating is important for this is a book with pastoral intent. Bray is a church member and writes for Christian readers. He seeks to offer practical help in reading and interpreting the Bible as much as he seeks to write a good and readable history of its interpretation. Further, since Bray is an evangelical Christian the text of his book shows evidence of this. The high view of the Bible, evidenced throughout the text, is ample demonstration of this.
Bray's method is chronological but then shades into idiosyncrasy ("social trends in interpretation"? All trends are social and especially with the Bible!). However, in each period/topic Bray gives a substantial orientation to what was/is going on (where the writer's own interests become more obvious the closer to the present we get), provides useful bibliographies (if occasionally biased to the evangelical or protestant), a list of interpreters from the time and/or place and a working example to show what the methods of biblical interpretation he details would look like in practice. This is, thus, a teacher writing and, if this book be ample evidence of that teacher's skills, not a bad one. I learnt from this book both about the history of biblical interpretation and about the practice of biblical interpretation. If you can put up with the odd evangelicalism then I think most other readers interested in biblical interpretation would too.