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Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible Hardcover – November 1, 2005
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About the Author
Craig G. Bartholomew (Ph.D., University of Bristol) holds the H. Evan Runner Chair in Philosophy at Redeemer University College in Ontario. He is the coauthor of The Drama of Scripture.
Daniel J. Treier (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Blanchard Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.
N. T. Wright (D.Phil., University of Oxford) is bishop of Durham and author of over forty books, including Jesus and the Victory of God, The Resurrection of the Son of God, and a popular series of guides to the New Testament.
Top Customer Reviews
The opening article on the Book of Acts starts with an overview of its historical interpretation. It includes the mention of John Chrysostom composing the first full commentary on the book to comment on more recent studies focusing on the form of the texts.
The next section is a summary of the themes and meaning of Acts. A short paragraph at the end touches on a topic debated today. Is the Holy Spirit received in all his fullness at conversion, or is there a subsequent experience called the "baptism in the Holy Spirit"?
The last two sections highlight the place of Acts in relation to the rest of Scripture, and most importantly, its practical significance for believers today.
One of the concluding thoughts highlights the value of this resource: "The evangelistic speeches in Acts focus on the resurrection of Jesus, suggestive of a corrective to today's evangelistic message and preaching," which spend more time on the death of Jesus.
Each of the books of the Bible is covered in a similar fashion. But many other topics and even key individuals are included. You can find articles on art, music, anti-Semitism, postmodernity and Biblical interpretation, feminist Biblical interpretation, Jesus and the quest for the historical, and sexuality. The latter includes a fascinating section on homosexuality, giving an overview of Jesus' view, Paul's view and a rationale based on Genesis. Profiles of individuals that contributed in some way to a theological understanding of Scripture include Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and John Calvin.
This tends toward the academic but any Christian could benefit from making use of this book. "The ultimate aim of the present work is to commend ways of reading Scripture that lead to the blessing of knowing God and of being formed unto godliness." It's a worthy aim, and those who take advantage of this resource will be helped on their way toward that end.
The Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible was the Christian Book Award Book of the Year for 2006.
The Book itself is simply fantastic, and all of the articles are suprisingly in-depth despite the vast array of territory covered. The list of contributors is a virtual whos-who of thinkers in the field of theology today (besides Kevin Vanhoozer, NT Wright and the other two editors, Craig Bartholomew of Bristol and D. Treier of of Wheaton, contributors include I. Howard Marshall, Grant Osborne, Anthony Thistleton, Stanley Grenz, Merold Westphal, Nancy Murphy, and Alistair McGrath, just to name a few) though, of course, this should not be an automatic criteria for sucess, it is nonetheless an impressive and well rounded display of expertise.
This dictionary is particularly quite helpful when it comes to outlining contemporary theories of interpretation, and has very thourough expositions on Post-structuralism, Deconstructionism, Reader-Response Criticism, Speech-Act theory, Feminist, Liberationist, and the so called "Yale" school of Narrative Post-Liberal Theologians like Lindbeck and Frei, to mention a few. Also, there are detailed commentaries/interpretive principles and exposition on particular areas of traditional and contemporary thought regarding every book of the bible, and there are even entries on particular authors (most prominantly, of course, seems to be writings on Paul, where there is an interesting description of how schools of thought have interpreted his writings, e.g. Augustine, Luther, to Barth and Bultmann, and there is even an enlightening piece on the "new perspective" on Paul by such scholars as NT Wright, who turn the traditional Law/Gospel distinction on its head, seeing Judaism's law as works that are a function of the grace of God's election, so that Paul's critique is centered on the Law as a means of discrimination rather than the traditional interpretation of a futile attempt to achieve righteousness...)
Other articles include an excellent general overview of Hermeneutics by Thistleton (a leading reasearcher in the field), an article on Truth, another on Meaning, Semiotics, Christian Hermeneutical theories, and a litany of articles on various theories of redactive criticism, source hypotheses (both regarding Mosaic authorship vs. JEPD documents, and the background of Q and the Markan priority) and a whole array of others that, if not exhaustive, is the best resource for biblical interpretation out there, (short of owning every book on the subject.)
Other books I recommend to compliment this dictionary are Anthony C. Thistletons books: New Horizons in Hermeneutics, and Two Horizons in Hermeneutics; Grant Osborne's the Hermeneutical Spiral; James K. A. Smith's The Fall of Interpretation; Kevin Vanhoozers Is There A Meaning In This Text?, First Theology, and his new book The Drama Of Doctrine; and for a technical appraisal of not only hermeneutics but the epistemology of science and philosophy in general, I recommend Wolfhart Pannenberg's Theology and the Philosophy of Science
All in all I highly recommend this for anyone interesting in having a valuable resource for referencing the complex world of biblical interpretation
Throughout my studies I rarely fail to turn to the articles of this Dictionary to illuminate anything from the book of Ephesians, to the relationship between the Church and Israel, to the nuances of Christianities interaction with postmodernism.
It features an all-star cast of contributers, such as Kevin VanHoozer, Darrell Bock, Daniel Trier, N.T. Wright, and R.T. France, as well as many more each commenting on their individual area of expertise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kevin J Vanhoozer, et al. Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible.Read more