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Scripture and Its Interpretation: A Global, Ecumenical Introduction to the Bible

ISBN: 9781493406197



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.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Presents a variety of perspectives on Scriptural interpretation
  • Examines both contemporary and historical ideologies
  • Includes questions for reflection and discussion, an annotated bibliography, and a glossary


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

Top Highlights

“Honestly recognizing the complexity of the Bible as a diverse collection prepares us to experience both why it is a treasure of great spiritual value and why it also requires careful study. In fact, the Bible attests to its own diversity.” (Page 7)

“shape their expectations of God’s activity in their world based on how they see God acting in the world of the Bible” (Page 274)

“premodern interpreters granted theological concerns, interests, and strategies priority in interpreting Scripture” (Page 206)

“The other is a list, register, or catalog (katalogos” (Page 115)

“Athanasius (whose emphasis on the importance and centrality of tradition echoes the arguments of Irenaeus) marks the beginning of the end of the process. His Easter letter of 367 (whose social context was discussed above) contains the first-known list to characterize as ‘canonical’ exactly the twenty-seven books that today constitute the NT. The same list was later ratified by the Council of Carthage (397) and subsequent councils.” (Page 130)

Praise for the Print Edition

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

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

Product Details

  • Title: Scripture and Its Interpretation: A Global, Ecumenical Introduction to the Bible
  • Editor: Michael J. Gorman
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 463
  • Resource Type: Collected Essays
  • Topic: Biblical Interpretation; Scripture

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Michael J. Gorman holds the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland. A highly regarded New Testament scholar, he has also written Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness and Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Bobby Terhune

    Bobby Terhune