- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Baker Books (November 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 080107228X
- ISBN-13: 978-0801072284
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible Paperback – November 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
Are you guilty of interpretive malpractice? Here's how to prevent it from happening again.
Although 92 percent of American households own at least one Bible, only 59 percent read it occasionally, and an even smaller percentage actually study it. It is no wonder that even those of us who value the Scriptures often don't understand them!
In Out of Context, veteran Bible professor Richard L. Schultz uses contemporary examples of "interpretive malpractice" to explain how biblical interpretation can go wrong--and how to get it right. He introduces you to the important concepts of context, word meaning, and genre and the differences between the world of the Bible and our own. With the expert help in interpreting and applying Scripture shared in this book, you'll find your Bible reading more rewarding than ever before.
About the Author
Richard L. Schultz (PhD, Yale University) is the Blanchard Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He is the coauthor of How to Understand Your Bible and is a regular contributor to scholarly journals and theological and biblical reference works.
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In the first six chapters, he presents and discusses specific examples of different types of biblical misinterpretation and misapplication, usually to make or reinforce a point that the author wants to make. Richard Schultz then shows how one can interpret biblical texts more accurately and apply them more appropriately.
Then in the seventh and summary chapter (What's So Bad about "Textjacking"?), he makes a final plea for taking the divine and human authors' original intentions more seriously when handling Scripture.
He then raises and discusses five possible objections to his approach: (1) that he is being judgmental, (2) that he is suggesting that only professional biblical scholars are able to interpret the Bible correctly, (3) that he is denying the role of the Holy Spirit in illuminating interpreters, (4) that he is ignoring the fact that there are competing interpretations of a given text, and (5) that he is more concerned with correct interpretation than with edifying the church of Jesus Christ.
He argues that the problem cannot just be ignored because: (1) misinterpretation is a bad hermeneutical habit that should be stopped before it gets worse, (2) Christians instinctively want to use the Bible to ground their views in Scripture when Scripture is actually silent on many current issues, (3) Christians often derive the right doctrines or ethical principles from the wrong texts, (4) misinterpretation results in invoking biblical authority to support their own ideas, and (5) misinterpretation promotes a faulty view of how God speaks to the church today through his words.
Richard Schultz finishes with seven tips for preventing textjacking: (1) care about understanding, (2) catch nuance, (3) clarify context, (4) check terms, (5) consider genre, (6) consult experts, and (7) correlate application.
His book includes a short list of things to think about and suggested books for further study at the end of each of the seven chapters.
I highly recommend this very readable book for anyone interested in the problems of biblical interpretation and application.