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Theological Interpretation of Scripture (Cascade Companions)

, 2009
ISBN: 9781556352416
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Christians have been interpreting Scripture with the aim of deepening their life with God and each other from the very beginning of the church. The past 20 years or so have witnessed an explosion of scholarly writing devoted to the theological interpretation of Scripture. Stephen Fowl, an active participant in and contributor to the burgeoning literature, has written an ideal companion for guests at the “large and somewhat chaotic party,” introducing them to important people, texts, and issues. The companion explores some of the connections between the long-running and essential Christian practice of theological interpretation and the more recent body of scholarly literature. Ultimately, the companion hopes to encourage readers to join the party in their own right.

In the Logos edition of Theological Interpretation of Scripture, you get easy access to Scripture texts and to a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Hovering over Scripture references links you instantly to the verse you’re looking for, and with Logos’ advanced features you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of “salvation” or “conviction.”

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Cascade Companions Series (15 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Discussion of Scripture’s nature and role in salvation
  • Examination of commonly understood central components of theological interpretation
  • Study questions at the end of each chapter
  • Scripture: Its Nature and Place in God’s Drama of Salvation
  • Theological Interpretation and Its Relation to Various Other Concerns
  • Practices and Habits of Theological Interpretation
  • Prospects and Issues for the Future
  • Guests at a Party

Top Highlights

“At the very least, however, granting theological concerns priority will involve a return to the practice of using Scripture as a way of ordering and comprehending the world rather than using the world as a way of comprehending Scripture.” (Page 23)

“That is, theological interpretation of Scripture will involve those habits, dispositions, and practices that Christians bring to their varied engagements with Scripture so they can interpret, debate, and embody Scripture in ways that will enhance their journey toward their proper end in God.” (Page 14)

“Scripture is chief among God’s providentially ordered gifts directed to bringing about reconciliation and fellowship with God despite human sin. Thus, Scripture is holy because of its divinely willed role in making believers holy.” (Page 12)

“One might even say that Scripture itself indicates that the mediation of revelation through written Scripture is not God’s best desire for believers but a contingent response to human sinfulness.” (Page 7)

“biblical theology is a practice that is fundamentally different from theological interpretation.” (Page 24)

Steve Fowl has been both a pioneer and a leader in the return to theological interpretation. In this concise book, he offers us a truly theological and ecclesial account of theological interpretation. It is an inspiring, liberating, and practical work, encouraging all Christians to interpret Scripture so as to find our proper end in ever-deeper communion with God and one another in anticipation of the fullness of God’s reign.

Michael J. Gorman, dean, Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University

In this brief companion we find a focused, clear account of major themes in Steve Fowl’s approach as well as gracious interaction with the work of others and numerous illustrative appeals to Scripture itself. This is definitely a case in which less is more: attention to this little book will prove very fruitful for engagement in biblical interpretation as a theological practice.

Daniel J. Treier, professor of theology, Wheaton College

Fowl here plays the role not only of companion but guide and host in this clear and compelling introduction to the most important turn-of-the-twentieth-century development in biblical interpretation. He argues that Christian readers should interpret the Bible with an overriding interest in God’s interest in using the Bible to promote communion. He practices what he preaches: he is generous towards those with whom he disagrees and gives fair descriptions of other approaches to theological interpretation.

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Stephen E. Fowl’s latest, Theological Interpretation of Scripture, displays gems in the treasure trove of the new-yet-venerable task: reading the Bible as Scripture of the church. Fowl helps us to think theologically about reading Christian Scripture as the living voice of God. Fowl invites us into a ‘cocktail party’ with his conversation partners in this renewal of reading sacra scriptura for the church’s life and witness. Entirely accessible, thoroughly convincing, with a sense of adventure and hope. May his tribe increase!

—Rev. Kathryn Greene-McCreight, associate priest, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Haven, CT

  • Title: Theological Interpretation of Scripture
  • Author: Stephen E. Fowl
  • Series: Cascade Companions
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 108

Stephen E. Fowl is the chair of the department of theology at Loyola College in Maryland. He is the author of several books, including Engaging Scripture: A Model for Theological InterpretationReading in Communion: Scripture and Ethics in Christian Life with L. Gregory Jones, and the Two Horizons commentary on Philippians.


2 ratings

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  1. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    When I was about a third of the way through, I was tempted to give up on this book, as I wasn't certain where the Author was going. Whilst there were many well written, and even thought-provoking, passages for me they seemed disjoint. However about halfway through this small book things things seem to gel. I became quite engage with the Author's examination of Figural Reading and Ecclesial Practices. As expected in a "Companion" book, there are many good references in the final chapter - with explanation. And a nice bibliography for further study. So whilst it started off poorly (in my opinion, and I fully acknowledge the fault may lie with me), I did end up enjoying where the book went :)
  2. Stephen Williams


Digital list price: $11.99
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