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Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers Paperback – October 1, 2008
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—Frank J. Matera,Professor of New Testament,Catholic University
"I have examined M. Gorman's Elements of Biblical Exegesis and find it very impressive. I teach courses in biblical interpretation and expect to use the book as a text."
—George Brunk III, Professor of New Testament, Eastern Mennonite Seminary
"Gorman’s done a fine job with what strikes me as a pretty difficult topic to handle in book form. Elements of Biblical Exegesis is careful andclear without being overwhelming. I think it will be very useful, so thanks to Gorman for his good and insightful work."
—Warren Carter, Pherigo Professorof New Testament, Saint Paul School of Theology
Designed for students, teachers, and pastors, this is really a handbook for studying the basics of biblical exegesis. It takes the reader, step by step, through context, historical, and literary analyses. While the diachronic and existential approaches are given their due, Gorman clearly states that the synchronic approach is dominant here. Having seen how a text is taken apart, the reader is then shown how to put it back together again in a way that will yield meaning for today. The very layout of the book is instructive. Important words are in bold print and explanations follow. Charts illustrate ideas. Each chapter ends with a summary of the content, practical hints for learning and remembering, and suggestions for further practice. Five appendices supplement the material in the book itself. This guide is highly recommended for classroom use.
—The Bible Today
Of the making of many books on Bible study there is no end, but we are especially pleased to celebrate this one because its story is in part our own. Long-time readers will remember Michael Gorman as Associate Director of this organization back when it was known as the Council for Religion in Independent Schools (CRIS), and his new book is a revision of something originally published by us in 1990 as Texts and Contexts: A Guide to Careful Thinking and Writing about the Bible. Fast-forward a decade or so and Dr. Gorman is now dean and professor at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore.
First things first. “Exegesis” springs from a Greek word, exegeisthai, “to lead out” (cf. the Latin educare, root of our word “education”). So exegesis is simply the business of leading ourselves or others out of ignorance into understanding; specifically, it is the process of beginning with a passage of Scripture and discovering its meaning(s), of making the opaque transparent, translucent.
Making sense out of the Bible can be a daunting challenge. As Gorman acknowledges, “the already difficult task of biblical exegesis and interpretation is becoming so complex, with the unending array of new methods and methodologies (not to mention new historical discoveries), that many students and preachers are tempted to abandon any hope of being ‘scholarly’ or even careful in their reading and use of the Bible.” But Gorman rises to the challenge: “One of the fundamental assumptions of this book is that exegesis can and must be done by the nonspecialist,” he declares, and he proceeds to show how the laity as well as the professionals can go about it.
If I may dare to carp, the book’s title is perhaps unfortunate. While this tome will indeed prove useful for students and ministers, and for teachers as well, the truth is that anyone curious about scholarship and the Bible will profit immensely here. Gorman is a very readable guide through the entire terrain. He surveys and explains the disparate approaches to Bible study (from redaction criticism to deconstructionism). He explains the strengths and weaknesses of all the major English translations available. He also leads the way through the thickets of Bible scholarship, clearly explaining and evaluating the full range of resources—commentaries, dictionar -- Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I think this is a good, quick read that will be good for people who want to start doing some responsible Biblical exegesis. However, if you are a graduate student (or anyone for that matter) and already have a basic handle on how to do exegesis and want to do more in-depth study, this is probably not the book you are looking for.
In three major sections the book is written in such a way as to facilitate the exegetical process in a step-by-step fashion. The text itself is designed so as to be made helpful to the student by providing a summary, review exercises, and practical hints at the end of each major chapter. In addition to the introducing the would-be exegete to exegetical methods and process the book provides a very helpful extensive section on “Resources for Exegesis” (181-232). Following the very significant “Resources” section are four appendices which include tables of methods, practical guides for writing a research exegesis paper, three example exegetical papers, and selected internet resources for biblical studies. All in all, the book is designed to be used by student in a classroom setting (though not required) for the purpose of developing his or her skills a biblical exegete. While the book certainly accomplishes its goal to introduce a student to the exegetical process its affect is well beyond the classroom. This book has a significant reach and will be found useful to the person who brand new to the study of the Bible or to the professional Pastor who is looking to brush up his or her skills as a Biblical exegete.Read more ›
Of interest from an apologetic nature is the discussion on textual criticism as well as the listing of Bible translations and dealing with the hermeneutic of suspicion where the text is seen as guilty until proven innocent. In fact, Gorman rightly says we should read from all perspectives, not just our own. After all, it is the critics of our position that can often open our eyes the most to the problems that we need to answer for our position. Gorman regularly says that all such reading is going to be beneficial. (Even reading mythicist material as that shows you just how crazy you can go when you don't really know how to do history.)
Of course, internet atheists I regularly encounter will want nothing to do with a work like this, and sadly too many Christians won't either who just have this idea that the text should be plain and clear to them. One of the great problems we have in the church is that people no longer work at the text. We go to seminars to learn how to improve our marriage and work at that, and we should! We go to seminars to learn how to be better parents and work on that, and we should!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best book I have read about breaking down the Exegesis process into manageable steps! I strongly recommend this to any Seminary student or lay person who really wants... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Seminarian
I found this book to be very helpful in writing an exegetical paper for college. There are a couple chapters I had to read more than once to fully grasp what the writer's were... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Awesome book. Got it in great condition. Thanks. It work out very well.Published 5 months ago by Alicia Lewis
I learned so much from this book. It helped me through my first seminary class.Published 8 months ago by Tabi Upton