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Interpreting the God-Breathed Word

How to Read and Study the Bible

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Christians often affirm that "Scripture is God's Word." But what do they truly mean by this affirmation, and why should it radically change the way they read and study Scripture? If Scripture is God's Word, it is necessarily the God-breathed Word of who God is: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Over the past few decades, a number of evangelical theologians and biblical scholars have become convinced that responsible biblical hermeneutics must, to some extent, pivot on the notion that the Bible is a form of divine communication. This biblical interpretation textbook provides an accessible introduction to the latest approaches in evangelical hermeneutics. Having many years' experience teaching hermeneutics to undergraduates, Robbie Castleman explains complex themes in an engaging way. She addresses all the current schools of thought in contemporary evangelical hermeneutics and incorporates recent important trends in biblical interpretation.

Interpreting the God-Breathed Word helps students recognize the living Word as they read and study Scripture as an act of being engaged by the triune God of grace who breathed and still breathes "the Word of the Lord." The book will also appeal to pastors and Bible study leaders.

1. Hearing Scripture: What Does the Text Say and How Does It Say It?
2. Once upon a Time: Hearing Scripture as Story
3. The First Voice: Faith Comes by Hearing
4. The Second Voice: Hearing through the Ears of the First Audience
5. The Third Voice: Responding to the God-Breathed Word
6. Meditation in a Canonical Toolshed: Seeing the Light by the Light
Conclusion: Wisdom--Participation in the God-Breathed Word
Appendix: Growing a Library


"Robbie Castleman here displays the still burning heart of a college professor thrilled to talk to students on the road, in a classroom, or through these pages about how to open the Scriptures to hear God's word. This book, not least by its many practical examples, will help students to see the big biblical picture and to learn skills for both carefully observing and faithfully participating in it. This is a fitting culmination to a teaching career devoted to enflaming a passion for studying Scripture in myriad undergrad hearts and minds."

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Castleman offers clear and concise guidance for disciples embarking on the journey of reading and applying the God-breathed word to their lives. By directing our attention to observing the text itself--the genre and canonical shape of the Old and New Testaments--while at the same time tuning our ears to hear the voice of the Triune God in Scripture, Castleman gives readers a guide as wise as it is accessible for profitable reading. Take up and read this excellent, theologically careful introduction to interpretation, but more, take up the God-breathed word it points to throughout."

Darian Lockett, associate professor of biblical and theological studies, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"In Interpreting the God-Breathed Word, Robbie Castleman draws readers into a transformative engagement with Scripture. Castleman sets the Bible in the context of God's overall revelation, including creation, the history of Israel and the early church, the various literary genres through which that revelation is expressed (with particular attention to the Gospels), the canon, and the role that our contemporary setting plays in understanding God's word. This clear, practical, and informative book will help all Scripture readers."

James R. Edwards, Bruner-Welch Professor Emeritus of Theology, Whitworth University

"Castleman is an outstanding teacher who boasts generations of grateful students (including me), and with this book she reaches yet another level of influence as an author. Interpreting the God-Breathed Word is a virtuoso effort aimed at helping all of us study the Scriptures."

Hunter Baker, dean of arts and sciences, Union University

The Author

  1. Robbie F. Castleman

    Robbie F. Castleman

    Robbie F. Castleman (DMin, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary) is professor emeritus of biblical studies at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. She is the author of Story-Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and...

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