Scripture and Its Interpretation

A Global, Ecumenical Introduction to the Bible

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About

Top-notch biblical scholars from around the world and from various Christian traditions offer a fulsome yet readable introduction to the Bible and its interpretation. The book concisely introduces the Old and New Testaments and related topics and examines a wide variety of historical and contemporary interpretive approaches, including African, African-American, Asian, and Latino streams. Questions for reflection and discussion, an annotated bibliography, and a glossary are included.

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Contents

Introduction
Michael J. Gorman
Part 1: The Bible
1. The Bible: A Book, a Library, a Story, an Invitation
Paul P. Zilonka and Michael J. Gorman
2. The Setting: Biblical Geography, History, and Archaeology
Karen J. Wenell
3. The Scriptures of Israel (The Christian Old Testament)
Claire Mathews McGinnis
4. The Writings of the New Covenant (The New Testament)
Michael J. Gorman
5. Significant Noncanonical Writings
Christopher W. Skinner
6. From Books to Library: The Formation of the Biblical Canons
Michael W. Holmes
7. From There to Here: The Transmission and Translation of the Bible
Michael L. Barré
Part 2: The Interpretation of the Bible in Various Traditions and Cultures
8. The Reception of the Bible and Its Significance
Christine E. Joynes
9. Premodern Interpretation of the Bible
Carole Monica C. Burnett
10. Modern and Postmodern Methods of Biblical Interpretation
Joel B. Green
11. Theological Interpretation of the Bible
Stephen Fowl
12. Protestant Biblical Interpretation
Michael J. Gorman
13. Roman Catholic Biblical Interpretation
Ronald D. Witherup
14. Orthodox Interpretation of Scripture
Edith M. Humphrey
15. Pentecostal Biblical Interpretation / Spirit Hermeneutics
Craig S. Keener
16. African Biblical Interpretation
Bungishabaku Katho
17. African American Biblical Interpretation
C. Anthony Hunt
18. Latino/Latina Biblical Interpretation
M. Daniel Carroll R.
19. Asian and Asian American Biblical Interpretation
K. K. Yeo
Part 3: The Bible and Contemporary Christian Existence
20. The Bible and Spirituality
Patricia Fosarelli and Michael J. Gorman
21. Scripture and Christian Ethics: Embodying Pentecost
Brent Laytham
22. The Bible and Politics
Christopher Rowland
23. Scripture and Christian Community
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
24. The Bible and Christian Mission
N. T. Wright
Glossary
Indexes


Endorsements

"This book is a treasure-house of resources for teachers and students of the Bible, as well as for anyone who wants to become more deeply informed about the collection of texts that are Sacred Scripture for the Christian church. Written by a lineup of distinguished scholars, the volume provides balanced attention to history and hermeneutics, with particular attention to the reception of the biblical writings in various global and ecclesial contexts. I am not aware of any other book that packs so much valuable information about the Bible into such a concise and readable form. Its essays demonstrate the distinctive, twofold character of fine teaching: they are accessible for serious introductory study while, at the same time, full of mind-expanding perspectives for readers who may have studied the Scriptures for a lifetime."

Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, Duke Divinity School

"Scholarly yet eminently accessible to the nonspecialist, this work is enlightening both as a historical introduction to the Bible and as an overview of how it has been read from ecumenical, intercontinental, and thematic perspectives. An invaluable tool for beginners as a way to situate themselves in the world of the Scriptures and as a resource to set the convictions of the experienced in a more inclusive context. A tour de force!"

Brother John, Taizé Community, France

"This is an excellent introduction to the Bible, going well beyond the basic issues of who wrote when, where, and why. It sets out clearly the complex process of how particular writings (and not others) became designated as canonical; poses challenging questions about how Scripture is, can, or should be interpreted; and provides a fascinating account of how biblical interpretation has developed within the various denominations and different parts of the world. The volume is a strong reminder to readers of the extent to which their own reading of and response to the Bible has been shaped by their often very different cultures and traditions. It demonstrates that when the Bible is read in different contexts, it has a richness of relevance that individuals in their own contexts rarely appreciate--revealing what a truly catholic reading actually involves."

James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University

"This beautifully produced volume merits a place in the library and on the teaching agenda of every church and seminary. All adult students of Scripture, from beginners to the most experienced, could benefit from this multifaceted yet theologically coherent collection of essays, which is both historically grounded and thoroughly contemporary in outlook."

Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity School

"I welcome this unique and much-needed volume. Biblical interpretation in service of the church is necessarily conditioned by the many possible locations of an interpreter, including where she or he comes from geographically and culturally and the interpreter's particular Christian tradition. This volume gathers outstanding, concerned, and passionate authors from many places and from numerous Christian confessions who introduce the text of the Bible, various interpretative traditions, and the Bible's relevance for contemporary Christian life. Scripture and Its Interpretation is a unique attempt to cross as many interpretative and cultural bridges as possible and provides rich information for the reader on 'how the Bible is read elsewhere.' All of us, from professor to undergraduate student, have much to learn from this book."

Francis J. Moloney, SDB, senior professorial fellow, Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia

"This interesting and helpful volume describes not only the contents of the Bible but also the many and various ways that people have interpreted the Bible from antiquity to the present in many different Christian communions. It would be a valuable companion to any introductory course and a helpful guide to any beginning reader."

George L. Parsenios, Princeton Theological Seminary

"The apostle Paul spoke of the church as having many gifts but one Spirit and as being one body with many members. The same might be said of the Bible itself--one book with many parts and dimensions. That is the premise of this exceptional introduction to Sacred Scripture and its interpretation. Essays by an ecumenical and international team of scholars illustrate in a vivid and effective way the complex composition of the Scriptures, the many-faceted reception it has received over the centuries, and the rich variety of methods of interpretation among those religious traditions that revere the Bible. In a world where some fear diversity, this volume demonstrates that authentic interpretation of the Bible champions both diversity and unity."

Donald Senior, CP, president emeritus and professor of New Testament, Catholic Theological Union


The Author

  1. Michael J. Gorman

    Michael J. Gorman

    Michael J. Gorman (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. He formerly served as dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's....

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