Monday 28 June 2010

Six of the Best 7: Books on Biblical Interpretation at an Intermediate Level

This is the seventh in a series of ‘Six of the Best’ books in a particular area related to engaging with Scripture which are first posted on the website of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. This one looks at books on biblical interpretation written at an intermediate level.

Having already suggested some books for beginners on interpreting the Bible (here), the following titles are among the best written at an intermediate level; they’re more demanding reads, but will help you if you’re already off the starting blocks and want to take things further.

Jeannine K. Brown, Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).
Focuses on the act of communication between author, text and reader; this is a very good middle-weight textbook overview of hermeneutics.

J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, 2nd edn. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005).
A very good, and highly recommended, ‘workbook’ type of introduction to exegesis and application – though it tends to be a little simplistic, I think, in its discussion of moving from the Bible to today.

Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel-Centred Hermeneutics: Biblical-Theological Foundations and Principles (Leicester: Apollos, 2006).
Written self-consciously and unashamedly from a perspective which privileges the ‘gospel’ and the discipline of biblical theology as a means of seeing how Scripture hangs together as one, unified work.

William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard Jr., Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, 2nd edn. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004).
An excellent large volume, which is broad in its scope. Like the others in this list, it’s not for beginners, but I would recommend it as the best all-round mid-level volume on biblical interpretation.

Dan McCartney and Charles Clayton, Let the Reader Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible, 2nd edn. (Philadelphia: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2002).
A mid-level textbook, covering most of the important topics.

Robert Plummer, 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2010).
A good resource for concise answers to questions, organised in four main sections: getting started (on text, canon, and translation), approaching the Bible generally (on interpretation and meaning), approaching specific texts (focusing particularly on the Bible’s literary types), and issues in recent discussion.

If you have come across other good books on biblical interpretation at this ‘intermediate’ level which are not listed here, let us know what they are and why you have found them helpful.

Previous entries in this series:

Books for beginners on interpreting the Bible
Books on biblical themes
Books on biblical worldview formation
Books on the biblical story
Books on the biblical genres
Books on preaching biblical genres

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