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Faithful Interpretation: Reading the Bible in a Postmodern World 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0800637873
ISBN-10: 0800637879
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A. K. M. Adam is Senior Tutor and Tutor in New Testament, St. Stephen's House, at the University of Oxford.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800637879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800637873
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,924,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By David Weinberger on October 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is not an easy book because it asks hard questions, but it's quite wonderful. AKMA is a terrific writer, and this book wrestles with the hardest problems in interpreting a text -- most of it applies to all texts, not just to the Bible -- without falling for Postmodernism's self-hypnotic tendencies.

Does text have a meaning? Nope, AKMA answers. Meaning is not contained in the text itself. But once the easy linkage between text and meaning (with intention bundled in) is severed, then are we left without any way to prefer one interpretation over another? Nope, AKMA answers (because any other answer leads us to trivialization and/or madness). But interpretation becomes an ethical issue, not merely a cognitive one.

The above is, of course, a simplification that does real violence to the book, which is careful and notably respectful of those who disagree with its point of view. In that, the book models the "differential hermeneutics" for which it argues, an understanding of interpretation that allows for differences.

This book is written within and for the Christian tradition, but you don't have to be Christian to appreciate the care with which AKMA approaches his topic. While the book assumes some familiarity with issues in biblical hermeneutics, its main ideas are accessible to those comfortable reading contemporary philosophical essays.
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