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Understanding and Applying the Bible: Revised and Expanded Revised, Expanded ed. Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0802490926
ISBN-10: 0802490921
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ROBERTSON McQUILKIN served as the third president of Columbia International University from 1968 to 1990 and currently serves as the president emeritus. He resigned from the presidency to care for his wife, Muriel, who had reached the stage of Alzheimer¿s disease in which she needed full-time care. Prior to coming president of CIU, McQuilkin served as headmaster of Ben Lippen School, then for 12 years as a missionary in Japan. McQuilkin¿s writings have appeared in numerous journals and periodicals. Among the books he has published are Understanding and Applying the Bible, Five Smooth Stones, Life in the Spirit, A Promise Kept, An Introduction to Biblical Ethics, and The Great Omission. In 2003 McQuilkin married Deborah Jones Sink. Between them, Robertson and Deborah have nine children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; Revised, Expanded ed. edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802490921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802490926
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. A. Pichaj on August 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have read...so many books on biblical interpretation and hermeneutics that sometimes, I thought my brain would explode. Not because I am so well-read, but because some were so scholarly and theoretical (hermeneutics is a deep and detailed subject) that they were practically ineffective for personal Bible study or sermon preparation. And others were so trendy and innovative, trying to make God's Word "relevant" to "contemporary generations" that I wondered about their trustworthiness. Well, right in the sweet spot in the middle is the aptly-named "Understanding and Applying the Bible," and the title truly matches the contents. I was privileged to sit in J. R. McQuilkin's lecture while he was "beta-testing" (so to speak) his notes for this book in the hermeneutics class at CIU years ago. I believe that what I learned there set a firm, theologically-conservative foundation for one to handle the Scriptures with devotion, care and respect, and to avoid novel or overly-subjective interpretations.

"Understanding and Applying the Bible" treats the Bible as if it is indeed the very Word of God. Faith in the God of the Bible is assumed, as is the inerrancy and harmony of Scripture, and therefore the principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture. (This is quite important, and is also rarer than one might think, as scholarly works are generally expected to be neutral about such issues. You can read this book with confidence that the author is not trying to introduce some "new perspective" of his in an area of devotion or doctrine.) And instead of dealing with hermeneutics in an ivory-tower vacuum (to mix my metaphors), valuable and reliable help is given to the pastor preparing sermons, or anyone who wants to read and understand (and apply!) the Scriptures. I highly recommend Dr.
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In this book, McQuilkin has provided a sound, well-balanced introduction to hermeneutics suitable for Bible College or seminary instruction. It is practical, thorough, and well organized, yet is clearly written in plain language suitable for the average reader.

McQuilkin addresses the primary concerns of biblical interpretation such as historical and cultural setting, word study, thought structure, context, figurative language, the various genres of literature, interpretation, and application. He provides principles and supporting guidelines to help the believer properly determine precisely what Scripture means and how God intends for us to apply His revealed will.

This is an excellent resource for anyone who needs to understand exegesis. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for an introductory text.
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The most helpful and insightful hermeneutical approach to the various types of scripture I have personally come across. It is write-in a clear and straightforward style, without difficult technicalities that make it hard to grasp the point. The insight on how to read Old Testament narrative is alone is worth it. As easy as this is to read, it is not unsophisticated, but rather very rich and insightful. The power of this book is in its depth and level of interpretive sophistication, presented straightforwardly, in an easy to follow writing style.
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Very thorough book on interpreting the bible. It provides that numerous ways of looking at scripture, therefore it will assist any serious student of the bible in helping them to get a better grasp on scriptures.
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We had the privilege of studying under President McQuilkin and use this material in the 1980's. Recently, two of our sons had to have this textbook for a course they were taking at another college. They were as delighted as we were in the guidance this material provided them on how to handle scripture. Nuggets of gold . . .
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The first chapter begins by identifying the authority of the Scriptures, and introduces the approaches to applying and understanding the Scriptures. The second chapter discusses the super naturalistic approach of pre-moderns. A quote from this chapter, McQuilkin writes,
“The Holy Spirit will never say something through the biblical writer, then contradict or change it for the reader. In other words, God will never enlighten the Christian through some understanding or application of scripture that would in any way depart from what is written. If He did this, there would be no way to k now if our interpretation was from the Spirit, from our sinful inclinations, from Satan, or from psychological or physical stimuli.” P.37
I can appreciate this quote because what he says solidifies the truth of one meaning. If the text is open to our own interpretation rather than on the original intent, there would be no authoritative standard for the original intent of Scripture.
Chapter three discusses the naturalistic approach. This approach is based upon the rationality of the interpreter rather than on the authority of the Scriptures. McQuilken writes, “The whole design of the Bible is to challenge suppositions not to be controlled by them.” P50
If an interpreter enters the reading of the text with presuppositions it can easily become a personal private interpretation. It is possible to want something to be true so badly that a reader can twist the Scripture to say anything.
Chapter four discusses the history of postmodernism, the core beliefs, and the influence that postmodernism has on evangelicalism. Chapter five covers the dogmatic approach. A noted quote, “not only is the systematic study of Scripture valid, it is necessary.
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