Reviews of

Archive for the ‘Hermeneutics’ Category

An Introduction to the Medieval Bible

In Cambridge University Press, Frans van LIERE, Hermeneutics, Manuscripts, Mark W. ELLIOTT, Medieval, Uncategorized on June 6, 2016 at 2:28 pm

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2016.06.08 | Frans van Liere, An Introduction to the Medieval Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014 Hardback ISBN: 9780521865784.

Review by Mark W. Elliott, University of St Andrews.

The author seems to wish to address the guild of biblical studies, at least as part of his audience. He is prepared from the outset to contend that the bible cannot be read ‘naively’, as though the history of its interpretation did not exist.  He wants the rich tradition of medieval biblical interpretation to be made known to biblical scholars and students, as something relevant for understanding the bible today (p. xii).  This is a noble aim.

Indeed, a book written by a historian might be the most useful kind of ‘Bible in the Middle Ages’ for it offers things hitherto beyond the ken of biblical scholars.  Who knew just how important the Codex Amiatinus as the oldest extant copy of Jerome’s bible was in the middle ages, as produced in England by Ceolfrid, which would do much to make the Vulgate standard in the Western Church? Read the rest of this entry »

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Written to Serve

In 1 Peter, Benjamin SARGENT, Bloomsbury, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, Katie Marcar, Scripture on April 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm

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2016.04.06 | Benjamin Sargent. Written to Serve: The Use of Scripture in 1 Peter. LNTS 547. T&T Clark: London, 2015. Hardback. 225 pp. ISBN: 978-0-56766-085-5. 

Reviewed by Katie Marcar, Otago University.

Many thanks to T&T Clark for providing a review copy.

In Written to Serve: The Use of Scripture in 1 Peter, Benjamin Sargent argues that 1 Peter 1.10-12 is a clear distillation of the author’s scriptural hermeneutic. Sargent argues that Scripture in 1 Peter is consistently and exclusively oriented towards Jesus Christ and the Christian community. In this way, it is “primitive” (having a single meaning, 4) and “sectarian” (relating exclusively to single group of people, 4). After a brief Introduction followed by an analysis of 1.10-12 (Chapter 1), Sargent evaluates the letter’s main quotations (Chapter 2) and allusions (Chapter 3) in light of this hermeneutic. He then compares 1 Peter’s exegetical approach to some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the cultural milieu of sectarian apocalyptic Judaism (Chapter 4). Finally (Chapter 5), Sargent uses these conclusions to argue for reconsideration of the determinate meaning of Scripture in biblical hermeneutics. Read the rest of this entry »

Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture

In Baker Academic, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Kengo Akiyama, R. W. L. MOBERLY on October 20, 2014 at 10:36 pm

2014.10.17 | R. W. L Moberly. Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academics, 2013. pp.xiv + 333. ISBN: 9780801048852.

Reviewed by Kengo Akiyama.
University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to Baker Academic for providing a review copy.

In this book, Moberly offers a series of theological reflection on select biblical texts. It is designed to be a sequel to his earlier work, The Theology of the Book of Genesis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). The book is comprised of an introduction, eight “freestanding” chapters, an epilogue and indices. Although each of the eight chapters can be read on its own without any knowledge of the other chapters, the studies are arranged in a particular order to give shape and coherence to the book. Whereas the first five chapters focus on the topics that are “‘doctrinally foundational’ for the vision of God and of human life with God”, the last three chapters turn to “perennially problematic dimensions within human response to God” (p.281). Read the rest of this entry »

The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament

In B&H Academic, Biblical Criticism, Eugene MERRILL, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Historical Criticism, Kerry Lee, Mark ROOKER, Michael GRISANTI, Scripture on May 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

2014.5.12 | Merrill, Eugene H., Mark F. Rooker, and Michael A. Grisanti. The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2011. pp. xviii + 618. ISBN: 978-0-8054-4031-7.

Review by Kerry Lee.

Many thanks to B&H Academic for providing a review copy.

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The World and the Word, by Eugene Merrill, Mark Rooker, and Michael Grisanti, is a textbook designed for use in undergraduate or seminary Old Testament introduction courses. The niche this book occupies among other OT introductions is found in the position held by the book’s authors toward the Bible, namely a conservative evangelical affirmation of biblical inerrancy and a generally literalistic hermeneutic. Rather than engage in critical dialogue with the theological position of the authors, I want to evaluate this book based on: 1) its success in achieving its own expressed aim, and 2) the degree and extent of its usefulness as an undergraduate Old Testament introductory textbook. Read the rest of this entry »

Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch?: Identifying Literary Works in Genesis through Kings

In Biblical Criticism, Genesis, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, Kerry Lee, Konrad SCHMID, Pentateuch, Scribal habits, Scripture, Septuagint, Society of Biblical Literature, Thomas B. DOZEMAN, Thomas RÖMER on June 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm

2012.06.12 | Thomas B. Dozeman, Thomas Römer, and Konrad Schmid, eds. Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch?: Identifying Literary Works in Genesis through Kings. Ancient Israel and its Literature 8. Atlanta: SBL, 2011. x + 313 pages. $39.95. ISBN: 9781589835429.

Reviewed by Kerry Lee, University of Edinburgh.

RBECS would like to thank SBL for kindly providing us with a review copy.

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Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch? is a collaboration between the Pentateuch and Deuteronomistic History Sections of SBL Read the rest of this entry »

Genesis (New Cambridge Bible Commentary)

In Abraham, Biblical Criticism, Bill T. ARNOLD, Cambridge University Press, Genesis, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Kerry Lee on May 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

2012.05.08 | Bill T. Arnold. Genesis. The New Cambridge Bible Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. xxii + 409 pages. (PB) £16.99. ISBN: 9780521000673. (HB) £50. ISBN: 9780521806077.

Reviewed by Kerry Lee, University of Edinburgh.

RBECS would like to thank CUP for kindly providing us with a review copy.

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Note to the reader: the following review is a good deal longer than what I would submit to an academic journal. In the process of reviewing this commentary, my own professional interest in the book of Genesis and in general hermeneutical method compelled me to address some issues in greater detail. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Retrospective Reading: The Challenges of Gospel-Shaped Hermeneutics”

In Edinburgh, Gospel of Mark, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, John, Kerry Lee, Luke-Acts, Matthew, New Testament, NT Theology, Richard HAYS, Scripture on February 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 26 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.” I should note that Professor Hays has let me know that he is preparing a book for publication based upon these Gunning lectures.

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The last of Richard Hays’ lectures in the 2012 Gunning series was part overview of the previous four lectures and part return to and exploration of the somewhat troubling assertion he made in his first lecture that modern hermeneutics (speaking, for the most part, in terms of the Christian church’s life and teaching) could and perhaps should imitate that of the Gospel writers. This assertion he expounded through nine proposals.

Rather than reporting on all of the first half of Hays’ lecture, let me refer the reader to the reports already posted on Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. However, there were a few comments in this half of the lecture which were new and noteworthy. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “The Temple of His Body: Reading Scripture with John”

In Edinburgh, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, John, Kerry Lee, New Testament, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 24 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.” I should note that Professor Hays has let me know that he is preparing a book for publication based upon these Gunning lectures.

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In the penultimate Gunning lecture, Richard Hays turned his attention to the fourth Gospel where, once again, Jesus is described as “him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote” (John 2:45, RSV). The character of Jesus makes this claim, as well, saying “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me” (John 5:46, RSV). However, like the Synoptics, John does not say specifically where and how Moses and the prophets wrote about Jesus. Rather, it remains for the reader to reconstruct this.

Unlike the Synoptics, though, John’s use of the Old Testament depends on a very few allusions and citations (according to the count of Westcott and Hort, 27 direct citations in John versus 124, 70, and 109 citations in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, respectively), but these references are explored deeply over a longer stretch of the narrative, in what Hays calls sustained meditation. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Torah Reconfigured: Reading Scripture with Matthew”

In Edinburgh, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, Kerry Lee, Matthew, New Testament, NT Theology, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS, Septuagint on January 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 19 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.”

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Professor Hays’ third lecture in the 2012 Gunning series focused on the Gospel of Matthew, whose use of the Old Testament has become a central feature of the scholarly characterisation of the New Testament’s overall appropriation of the Old Testament. Very often, the Gospel writers’ use of the Old Testament is understood as a series of proof-texts which show no concern for the meaning or context of the cited or alluded Old Testament reference. Professor Hays’ aim in these lectures, and especially in this one, is to challenge this view by closely reading the Gospels with special sensitivity to the unique narrative strategies of the individual writers.

The intertextual strategy of Matthew in many ways makes a striking contrast with that of Mark. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Unexpected Echoes: Reading Scripture with Mark”

In Edinburgh, Gospel of Mark, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Kerry Lee, Messianic secret, New Testament, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS on January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 17 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.”

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

Professor Hays’ lecture series continued with a closer examination of the way allusions to Old Testament passages in the Gospel of Mark portray Jesus as mysteriously but directly embodying the presence of God, contrary to a certain tendency in New Testament scholarship to posit an early low Christology (evident in the Gospel of Mark, among other places) which evolved into a higher Christology (evident in, for example, the Gospel of John). He began with a reflection on the insufficiency of certain terms to encompass all that Mark’s Gospel asserts about Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »