Friday 29 April 2011

David R. Bauer and Robert A. Traina on Inductive Bible Study

David R. Bauer and Robert A. Traina, Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011), 464pp., ISBN 9780801027673.

An excerpt of this book carries the Foreword by Eugene Peterson, the Preface from David Bauer, and the Introduction.

This volume is an expansion by David Bauer (and Ada Thompson) of Robert Traina’s Methodical Bible Study, first published in 1952. After the Introduction, it unfolds in five parts:

Part 1. Theoretical Foundations

Part 2. Observing and Asking

Part 3. Answering or Interpreting

Part 4. Evaluating and Appropriating

Part 5. Correlation

It aims to offer ‘a specific, orderly process that readers can apply directly as they work with particular biblical texts’ (xiii). Even so, as Bauer is concerned to point out (and as Eugene Peterson also emphasises in his Foreword), ‘although inductive Bible study involves certain steps that are performed, it is not solely a matter of techniques. It involves, above all, a commitment to an inductive posture, which means radical openness to the meaning of the text, wherever a study characterized by radical openness might lead’ (xiv).

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