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40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible (40 Questions & Answers Series) Paperback – April 22, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Robert Plummer's new book is simply excellent . . . . This is the best introductory book on biblical interpretation I've yet seen. I highly recommend it."
-Justin Taylor, Associate Publisher, Crossway

". . . provides beginning students with all they need to know about biblical interpretation in general and the specific kinds of texts found in the Old and New Testaments in particular."
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Wheaton College
--Back Cover

"Robert Plummer's new book is simply excellent . . . . This is the best introductory book on biblical interpretation I've yet seen. I highly recommend it."
-Justin Taylor, Associate Publisher, Crossway

". . . provides beginning students with all they need to know about biblical interpretation in general and the specific kinds of texts found in the Old and New Testaments in particular."
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Wheaton College
--1

Back Cover

"Read this excellent primer and read the Bible better as a result." (Darrell Bock, Research Professor of New Testament Studies Dallas Theological Seminary 2012-12-01)

"Aristotle once said that those who wished to succeed must ask the right preliminary questions. Plummer asks forty of them. Even better: he answers them, providing beginning students with all they need to know about biblical interpretation in general and the specific kinds of texts found in the Old and New Testaments in particular." (Kevin J Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology Wheaton College 2010-12-01)

"How approptiate that Plummer's 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible is itself eminently understandable, crystal clear, and thoroughly engaging. The organization and breadth of coverage make this book both a delight to read and highly instructive....I can't imagine a more helpful introduction to the subject of biblical interpretation." (Bruce A Ware, Professor of Christian Theology The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 2010-12-01)

"It is a wonderful thing to teach a person the Bible. It is even more wonderful to teach people how to study the Bible for themselves. Plummer has given us a helpful survey relative to how to understand the Bible. You will profit greatly from his insights." (Pastor Emeritus First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL 2010-12-01) --2

From the Inside Flap

"Aristotle once said that those who wished to succeed must ask the right preliminary questions. Plummer asks forty of them. Even better: he answers them, providing beginning students with all they need to know about biblical interpretation in general and the specific kinds of texts found in the Old and New Testaments in particular to begin interpreting the Bible profitably."
--Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College

"Well written and carefully researched, I believe 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible is an invaluable resource for anyone who has serious questions about the Holy Scriptures."
--Daniel Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"How appropriate that Plummer's 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible is itself eminently understandable, crystal clear, and thoroughly engaging. The organization and breadth of coverage makes this book both a delight to read and highly instructive. Each chapter concludes with reflection questions and suggested resources for further study. I can't imagine a more helpful introduction to the subject of biblical interpretation than Plummer has produced."
--Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 "Nuanced sufficiently for seminary courses and accessible enough for church groups, 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible helpfully acquaints students and church leaders alike to central principles of biblical interpretation and related matters like inspiration, canon, translation, and current discussions. This warm and engaging work would make a superb textbook for university and seminary courses on biblical interpretation."
--Christopher W. Morgan, Professor of Theology, California Baptist University

"Read this excellent primer and read the Bible better as a result."
--Darrell Bock, Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"It is a wonderful thing to teach a person the Bible. It is even more wonderful to teach people how to study the Bible for themselves. Plummer has given us a helpful survey relative to how to understand the Bible. You will profit greatly from his insights."
--Jerry Vines, Pastor-Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL

"40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible is a condensed discussion of a wide variety of important issues for the beginning student in the area of biblical studies. The question-answer format is a nice way to pique the students' interest and provide an answer to their questions at the same time."
--Paul D. Wegner, Professor of Old Testament, Phoenix Seminary
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Product Details

  • Series: 40 Questions & Answers Series
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional (April 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082543498X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825434983
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a college Bible professor who often struggles with finding the right textbook for introductory courses, I am so thankful that this book is finally available! The content is approachable without being simplistic. Current, judicious, stays on point, and most of all, helpful--especially with respect to each chapter's general outline, illustrations, summary, and review/discussion questions. Like many professors, I struggle with effectively teaching a large class of students whose relative Bible knowledge coming in runs the gamut. How can we help both those who know next-to-nothing and those who have a solid church background? With this in mind, this book is the best I've found. It is more user-friendly (for teacher and student) than Fee/Stuart (How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth) and Duvall/Hays (Grasping God's Word). For approaching basic hermeneutics, I plan to use Plummer's book along with Vaughan Roberts' little book on metanarrative (God's Big Picture). I look forward to other books in this series.
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Are you looking for a book to help you understand the Bible better, but don't know where to start? Here is the book about The Book for You! Dr. Plummer has not only written an excellent book, but has helped to fill a resource gap for pastors. This book fulfills several resource gaps for me as a Pastor. Here are some of the resource gaps filled:

1. Personal Study (I always need to refresh)
2. Learning to phrase complex teaching in understandable terms.
3. An affordable understandable book to put into parishioners' hands.
4. A resource that non-specialists will read and finish with understanding.

Dr. Plummer has provided a valuable resource that although readable, goes beyond the ABC 123 of other many other books on introductory Bible Study. Many of the books I have read on hermeneutics are either too technical for most laity (and many clergy apparently) to read or to long finish. These 40 Questions are short enough to read and study one question a week - and retain. One can read a chapter quickly (one question) and review it for about a week. The knowledge gained will be more than worth the effort.

Who would benefit from reading this book?
1. Pastors who need to a quick refresher in basic Hermeneutics.
2. New Christians who are wanting to understand the Bible better.
3. Sunday School Teachers wanting to engage the Biblical text rather than the notes of a quarterly.
4. A gift for someone who recently made a profession of faith.
5. Church lending Library.
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Format: Paperback
Who doesn't have questions about interpreting the Bible? I do. You do. Probably anybody who has ever read the Bible has questions. So I'm happy to recommend a book on the subject. 40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible by Rob Plummer. It's second in the ongoing '40 Questions' series edited by Ben Merkle (40 Questions about Elders and Deacons), which has the hallmark of staying focused and practical.
Rob is truly a blessing to have at my church. I mean, as a pastor, how great is it to have a Greek scholar just a phone call away when you're sermonating? I can't count the number of times over the years I've called Rob late on a Saturday asking, `Now, what is Paul saying in verse 13?' And he always has great insight. Really, Rob is one of those men that can give you a nuanced, biblical answer to just about any question. I've been looking forward to this book from the time he told me about the project, especially since his first book, Paul's Understanding of the Church's Mission: Did the Apostle Paul Expect the Early Christian Communities to Evangelize? (Paternoster Biblical Monographs)is one of my top three all time books on missiology.
As a scholar, Rob is very careful, very thoughtful - and this book reflects that. And he has the heart of a pastor on top of the mind of an academician. It's a great combination and I'm so thankful to have Rob as a brother in Sojourn's mission, and I commend his book to you knowing the heart and mind behind it. 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible is short by design so that it's accessible and it's written by a man who I can promise you truly loves the Bible and truly loves helping people know what it says more clearly. If you're looking to understand the Bible better, this book won't let you down.
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Format: Paperback
If you are searching for a solid evangelical book on Biblical interpretation, this is it! It would work well for a church discipleship class or just personal understanding. What makes this a great read is it's written at an easily digestible level for the church, but also wide enough to provide the advanced student something to chew on.

Many interpretation books focus on a mechanical approach to every passage of scripture. I.E. use this isolated formula and you always produce the correct interpretation. Not that Plummer totally eradicates various approaches, but he teaches students how to factor in things like genres. Hint: you do not approach a parable the same way you approach an Epistle. Buy it, read it, teach from it and enjoy it!
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There are many books on Hermeneutics and the techniques of Bible interpretation. Bible interpretation is both an art and science. Knowing the techniques (the science) is one part of the equation. Being a believer seeking after God and passionate for his kingdom (the art) is the other side. The '40' questions provide a wonderful introduction to the science and practical techniques of interpretation, tackling everything from good and bad translations of the Bible to what is typology and explaining the different genres in scripture. The writing is clear and plain, easy to understand and each chapter has 'reflection' questions and a list of books for further study.

Highly recommended.
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