Can the Bible really be understood? Are Old Testament prophecies relevant for today? How can you understand the symbolism of the Book of Revelation? What is the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament?
Why study Bible interpretation? Dr. Roy Zuck points out that it is essential for understanding and teaching the Bible properly, essential as a step beyond observation, and essential for applying the Bible correctly. He discusses the challenges of Bible interpretation, considers the problems of Bible interpretation, explores the history of Bible interpretation, and defines key terms—all in a practical, down-to-earth way.
Though Dr. Zuck’s many years of teaching and scholarship are evident in this book, he has written in language understandable to all who are serious about Bible study and who want to know better what Scripture means.
Whether you’re a student, scholar, pastor, or professor, Basic Bible Interpretation provokes you to read the Bible honestly—to let it surprise, challenge, and correct you as you apply the many steps of interpretation. By using the tools included in Basic Bible Interpretation, you’ll approach Bible study with more depth and understanding. Integrate the practical methods found in this volume with your preferred Bible, the Passage Guide, and the other Bible study tools in Logos Bible Software—then dive into Bible study with a vast knowledge base right before your eyes.
“First, seeing the words on a page of the Bible does not necessarily mean that the reader catches their meaning. Observing what the Bible says is the first of several steps in Bible study.” (Page 9)
“In observing what the Bible says, you probe; in interpretation, you mull. Observation is discovery; interpreting is digesting. Observation means depicting what is there, and interpretation is deciding what it means. The one is to explore, the other is to explain.” (Page 12)
“‘Rhetorical interpretation’ refers then to the process of determining how the style (particular verbal elements or ways of expression) and form (organizational structure) influence how it is to be understood. Rhetorical interpretation is the process of determining the literary quality of a writing by analyzing its genre (kind of composition), structure (how the material is organized), and figures of speech (colorful expressions for literary effect) and how those factors influence the meaning of the text.” (Page 124)
“It is important to know the circumstances of a given Bible book. This means looking for answers to these questions: Who wrote the book? At what time was it written? What prompted the author to write the book? That is, what problems, situations, or needs was he addressing? What is the book all about? That is, what is its main subject or subjects? To whom was the book written? That is, who were the first readers or hearers of the book? Answers to these questions can help us make more sense of what the Bible book says.” (Page 78)
“First, see if the behavior in the biblical culture means something different in our culture.” (Page 96)
At last! A book on hermeneutics you can understand. Dr. Zuck has drawn heavily on his many years of teaching in the seminary classroom to present an excellent treatise on biblical interpretation. While this book will be well received in the classroom, it is one that I will be wholeheartedly recommending to my congregation. While the scholarship is clearly present, it is nevertheless most readable and understandable by the average layperson. This book will make a valuable contribution to your ability to comprehend the Scriptures.
—Louis A. Barbieri, chair of the Department of Theology, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago
Having taught and written in the area of hermeneutics for almost 30 years, I am convinced that there is no more important course in the seminary curriculum for training in the Scriptures. As Roy Zuck has so ably demonstrated, we cannot know the message of the Bible for today until we know its meaning. Dr. Zuck’s work is intensely biblical and comprehensive but at the same time it is simple and uncomplicated. This is a book we have needed for many years and I praise the Lord that it is now available.
—Earl D. Radmacher, chancellor, professor of systematic theology, Western Seminary
Basic Bible Interpretation lives up to its title. It deals with the basics and doesn’t confuse the reader with extraneous material. It focuses on the Bible as the Word of God and handles that Word with ‘reverence and godly fear.’ It tells us how to interpret this marvelous Book, and even gives the reader opportunity to put the principles into practice. In every way, this book is a practical tool for the serious student who wants to study the Bible and apply its truths.
—Warren W. Wiersbe, author, pastor, teacher