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Scripture as Communication, 2nd Edition

Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics

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Jeannine Brown, a seasoned teacher of biblical interpretation, believes that communication is at the heart of what happens when we open the Bible. We are actively engaging God in a conversation that can be life changing. In this guide to the theory and practice of biblical hermeneutics, Brown emphasizes the communicative nature of Scripture, proposing a communication model as an effective approach to interpreting the Bible. The new edition of this successful textbook has been revised and updated to interact with recent advances in interpretive theory and practice.


Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction: Scripture as Communicative Act
Part 1: Theoretical Perspectives on Scripture as Communication
1. Terminology and Context for Hermeneutics
2. A Communication Model of Hermeneutics
3. Authors, Texts, Readers: Historical Movements and Reactions
4. Affirmations about Meaning from a Communication Model
5. Developing Textual Meaning: Implications, Effects, and Other Ways of Going "Beyond"
6. An Invitation to Active Engagement: The Reader and the Bible
Part 2: Practical Guidance for Interpreting Scripture as Communication
7. Genre and Communication
8. The Language of the Bible
9. The Social World of the Bible
10. Literary Context, Intertextuality, and Canon
11. Conceptualizing Contextualization
12. Contextualization: Understanding Scripture Incarnationally
Appendix A: Guidelines for Exegesis
Appendix B: Historical Criticism
Appendix C: Parallelism in Hebrew Poetry
Appendix D: Epistles: Following an Author's Flow of Thought
Appendix E: Narratives: Visualizing Plot and Theme
Appendix F: How to Go About Topical Studies


"Scripture as Communication is the mainstay in my hermeneutics course, and Brown's second edition adds broader biblical scope and greater attention to both ancient historical context and non-Western perspectives. Brown's accessible and inviting style makes complex theories understandable and applicable. For readers who want to listen to the Bible better, there is no better book to help achieve a more faithful reading."

Lynn H. Cohick, provost, dean of academic affairs, and professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

"Interpreting Scripture appropriately--to shape the faith and life of Christian communities--can be challenging. Jeannine Brown's eclectic communication model is a balanced, engaged approach to the theory and practice of scriptural interpretation. Her accessible treatment of complex topics, illustrated with examples from both Scripture and daily life, will be helpful to theological students and instructors alike."

Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary's Seminary & University

"Few things are more challenging, controversial, and yet empowering than interpreting ancient texts. In the second edition of Scripture as Communication, Jeannine K. Brown's expertise and pastoral sensitivity shine as she helps empower readers by navigating the turbulent waters of biblical interpretation. Brown addresses theories of communication and interpretation, providing practical guidance all along the way. She honors the perspectives of ethnic-minority Bible readers in the United States as well as those in the Majority World. With clarity and thoroughness, Scripture as Communication makes biblical hermeneutics accessible to a wide range of readers."

Dennis R. Edwards, author of What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?

"In Scripture as Communication Jeannine Brown writes of listening to the text as if her life depends on it. Her life depends on it because the truth of the text is not simply something to be heard and understood but something to be embodied. If you are ready for a hermeneutical framework that moves beyond thinking about Scripture to living its truth; if you are ready to engage key hermeneutical voices, both old and new(er); if you are ready to learn to interpret not just texts but also the broader realities of human life and experience, then this is the book for you. Come; listen. Come; interpret well in order to live well."

Holly Beers, associate professor of religious studies, Westmont College

"While hermeneutics can be intimidating for those beginning their journey into deeper study of the Bible and theology, Brown gently and creatively introduces readers to this crucial subject. Her vision for interpreting Scripture is both theoretically accessible and clearly practical, an approach shaped by years of mentoring students and studying the Scriptures herself. A crucial guide for all interested in hearing the voice of Scripture in challenging times."

Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College

The Author

  1. Jeannine K. Brown

    Jeannine K. Brown

    Jeannine K. Brown (PhD, Luther Seminary) is the David Price Professor of Biblical and Theological Foundations at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the author of Scripture as Communication, The Gospels as Stories, two...

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