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Christian Theologies of Scripture: A Comparative Introduction annotated edition Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814736661
ISBN-10: 0814736661
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Provides a state-of-the-art introduction to how Christian theories of scriptural interpretation have been intimately bound up with beliefs about life with God, examining both the outlooks of movements and periods, and the contributions of great theologians. No one with an interest in theological exegesis of biblical hermeneutics can afford to miss this book.”
-David S. Yeago,Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary



“This volume does what its title promises: it gives an introduction to Christian theologies of scripture, and it does so very well.”
-Religious Studies Review



“What does it mean to call biblical writings the ‘word of God’? This fine collection of readable essays based on current research gives an excellent overview of Christians' answers to that question from the third century to the present and undermines widespread caricatures and over-simplifications.”
-David H. Kelsey,Yale Divinity School



“[I]t represents more than a collection of essays. It is a helpful, at times profound, mapping of Christians’ reflections on their Scriptures.”
-Choice, Recommended

About the Author

Justin S. Holcomb (PhD, Emory University) is an Episcopal priest and professor of theology and Christian thought at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously taught at the University of Virginia and Emory University. Justin has written or edited numerous books, including Know the HereticsKnow the Creeds and Councils, On the Grace of GodWhat Do You Do For a Living?Acts: A 12-Week Study, and For the World. He and his wife, Lindsey, are authors of: Is It My Fault? and Rid of My Disgrace, as well as a children's book, God Made All of Me.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; annotated edition edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814736661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814736661
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book was money and time well spent. We of the Christian faith usually fail to recognize that the way we read scripture at our point in place and time is not the only way it has been read. Indeed, many others in whom the Spirit dwells have read it differently. To understand those alternative readings of scripture is not to undermine the foundation of our faith, but to enrich it with the experience of those who have gone before. Well written enough for a finicky reader and objective enough for an armchair scholar. Some chapters could have been more comprehensive (e.g., the patristic era.) Any serious teacher of scripture, clergy or layman, should have this under their belt as essential background knowledge.
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Format: Paperback
Holcomb has gathered a brilliant group of essays which provide a rather useful introduction to the place of Holy Scripture in the thought of theologians and theological movements from the early church through the current day. A reader should not expect some sort of predetermined rubric as to the issues discussed in each essay. That is, the essays do not attack systematically questions such as "Did X view the Bible as the Word of God?" or "Did X view the Bible as inerrant?" and so on. But the essays are better off for that fact: though an introduction, this is not a book for simplistic thinkers, apologists, or culture warriors. Each essays begins on the broad canvas of each theologian or movement and merely highlights the place and, more importantly, the function of Scripture on that canvas.

Each reader's preference as to the best essays in the volume will largely be determined by his theological interest (early church, medieval, modern, etc.). I found with final section particularly satisfying, particularly Stephen Murphy's peice on Scripture in African American theology and spirituality.
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Format: Paperback
The most useful course during my time in seminary was The History of Christian Doctrine. Reading this book has brought back many memories of what I learned in that very detailed course. I recommend this book as a good overview of how scripture has been interpreted since the inception of the Christian Church. The individual chapters are more like introductions to their subjects but will wet your appetite to learn more. Whatever your view of scripture this book will challenge your thinking. My view of scripture fits mostly with those before the Neo Orthodox period but the chapters on Schleiermacher and Barth really caused me to think through my personal convictions regarding the Word of God. So if you have not grappled with the question of Authority and the Word of God, this would be a good place to start.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of essays about the theology of scripture is a good source for summary and update in the mid-2000's of major points in Church History, Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies. Each chapter has a concise summary of the theologian and his work and times. We are adding this volume to our recommended reading for the Introduction to Theological Studies course. Dr. Justin Holcomb is now Executive Director of Resurgence, a pastor with Mars Hill Church and adjunct professor of Theology and Culture for RTS.

INTRODUCTION
In his introduction to the book, Dr. Justin Holcomb, the editor, describes this exercise as a "mapping" of the different approaches in Christianity about how to understand the Bible. That is an excellent way to present the broad sweep of years and scholars. But the work turns out to be worshipful and helpful in thinking through better routines for Bible study and application to all of life.

In this survey, the approach is multi-faceted with these emphases: comparative, historical, applied and authentic. And it does arrive at "essential" practices for knowing Jesus and His Word better and better. Quite a trick given some of the heavy content and academic patterns, especially in the past 200 years. Even as a survey, the team of authors get to the best of the giants of the faith as well as some problems in each era of the church. Even with disagreement on material in the latter chapters about liberalism, it brings us the news, good and bad, from the sometime esoteric world of academic theology.

PART I: PATRISTIC AND MEDIEVAL
In his introduction to this first section, Lewis Ayers points out that the plain sense of the Word, the "perspicuity," is such a blessing for the Christian for the reliability and validity of the Bible.
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