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Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology



Bible scholars Andreas Köstenberger and Richard Patterson present the “hermeneutical triad” method—an interpretive approach to the Bible that gives due consideration to the historical setting, literary context, and theological message of a given passage. Working through the major genres of Scripture and showing how their method applies to each one, Köstenberger and Patterson provide interpretive examples to guide the student in proper exegesis.

For more from this series, see here.

Key Features

  • Provides foundational texts for theological study
  • Explains the basics of preaching, hermeneutics, and missions


  • Preparation: The Who, Why, and How of Interpretation
    • Chapter 1: Welcome to the Hermeneutical Triad: History, Literature, and Theology
  • Interpretation: The Hermeneutical Triad
    • Part 1—The Context of Scripture: History
      • Chapter 2: Setting the Stage: Historical-Cultural Background
    • Part 2—The Focus of Scripture: Literature
      • Unit 1: Canon
        • Chapter 3: The Old Testament Canon: The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings
        • Chapter 4: The New Testament Canon: The Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypse
      • Unit 2: Genre
        • Chapter 5: Enjoying a Good Story: Old Testament Historical Narrative
        • Chapter 6: A Word from the Wise: Poetry and Wisdom
        • Chapter 7: Back to the Future: Prophecy
        • Chapter 8: Hearing the Good News: New Testament Historical Narrative (Gospels & Acts)
        • Chapter 9: Calling for Discernment: Parables
        • Chapter 10: Going by the Letter: Epistles
        • Chapter 11: Visions of the End: Apocalyptic Literature (Revelation)
      • Unit 3: Language
        • Chapter 12: The Importance of Context: Grammar, Syntax, and Discourse
        • Chapter 13: The Meaning of Words: Linguistics, Semantics, and Exegetical Fallacies
        • Chapter 14: A Way of Speaking: Interpreting Figurative Language
    • Part 3—The Goal: Theology
      • Chapter 15: Making the Connection: Getting Our Theology from the Bible
  • Application and Proclamation: God’s Word Coming to Life
    • Chapter 16: Getting Down to Earth: Using the Tools, Preaching and Applying the Word

Praise for the Print Edition

The great merit of Köstenberger’s and Patterson’s volume is its threedimension account of biblical interpretation. The authors rightly focus on the history, literature, and theology of the Bible—what they call the hermeneutical triad. Call it hermeneutics in real 3-D. A three-stranded hermeneutical cord may not be easily broken, but it’s easy to grasp by following this introductory textbook. Another merit is the authors’ reminder that biblical interpretation is not only about method but about virtue: a heart-felt humility before the divine text is as important as any heady procedure.

—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School

Andreas Köstenberger and Richard Patterson, two brilliant and experienced interpreters of Holy Scripture, have produced a first-rate volume on biblical hermeneutics. Distinctive in its approach, with a focus on the “hermeneutical triad,” this monumental publication is encyclopedic in its thoroughness, masterful in its organizational design, and skillful in its pedagogical emphasis. The clear discussions in each chapter, followed by helpful and informative bibliographies, will make this book a rich resource for students, scholars, and pastors for years to come. I am truly excited about the publication of Invitation to Biblical Interpretation.

—David S. Dockery, President, Professor of Christian Thought & Tradition, Union University

  • Title: Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology
  • Authors: Andreas J. Köstenberger, Richard D. Patterson
  • Series: Invitation to Theological Studies Series
  • Publisher: Kregel
  • Print Publication Date: 2011
  • Logos Release Date: 2018
  • Pages: 896
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible › Textbooks
  • ISBN: 9780825430473
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-04-26T17:40:41Z

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.

About the Authors

Andreas Köstenberger is professor of New Testament and director of PhD and ThM studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters, Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective, and John in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) (16 vols.).

Richard D. Patterson was chairman of the department of biblical studies and professor of Semitic languages and literature at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He contributed to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary and has written articles for Grace Theological Journal, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and other scholarly journals.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Millie Martinez
  2. Samuel Eunchong Seo
    Great resource. The second edition is coming out in November.