The Historical Interpreters Collection introduces you to the host of theologians who have shaped how the church has interpreted the Bible throughout the centuries. The two volumes skillfully comb church history and offer up biographical and historical information on all the major interpreters, including the context in which they worked.
The Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters acts as an encyclopedia of the great biblical interpreters. It provides introductory essays on the historical eras spanning from the early church to the 20th century followed by detailed articles on the major interpreters. Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers focuses on the interpreters of the early church. It aims to bring you to a better understanding of how they read and interpreted scripture, and show you how you can follow in their footsteps.
The Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters is a unique reference work that recognizes that the history of Christian theology is fundamentally the history of the church's interpretation of the Bible. In this volume, contributors from both historical and biblical studies meet and create a reference book that will be valuable for all students and teachers of theology, church history and biblical studies. The methods, perspectives and seminal works of major biblical interpreters are placed in historical perspective and assessed by scholars who are experts in their subjects. Over one hundred biblical interpreters have been selected for their individual contributions or their representation of approaches to biblical interpretation.
This handbook is organized by historical periods, from the second century to the late twentieth century, with each period introduced by an overview essay and followed by articles on the major interpreters of the period. A final section is devoted to twentieth-century North American interpreters. Valuable bibliographies include the significant works of each interpreter as well as studies of the interpreter and important studies of each period under review.
This is an instructive, thought-provoking, generous-minded, reliable, absorbing, illuminating and imaginative work, often elegant, entertaining, incisive and provocative. It covers a remarkable galaxy of names, and it is written by people from a wide range of backgrounds, many of them world experts on their subject. Why did no one think of writing it before?
—John Goldingay, Fuller Theological Seminary
Biblical interpretation becomes impoverished if the history of the reception of texts is ignored, since each reading shapes subsequent expectations and thereby the agenda which interpreters bring to the text. This reference work provides easy access to material which is otherwise scattered and time consuming to track down. With helpful bibliographies, it provides a valuable tool for students of the Bible and of hermeneutics. Virtually all articles are useful, and some by well-known specialists on their subject are outstanding.
—Anthony C. Thiselton, professor of Christian Theology and head of department, University of Nottingham
Donald McKim has assembled a team of experts to write sympathetic yet critical descriptions and assessments of the major figures in biblical interpretation from the early church to the present day. The articles are full enough to be informative but not so detailed or technical as to be beyond the reach of the undergraduate reader. Together with the survey articles on specific periods, this collection of over one hundred articles on individual scholars offers an unrivaled overview of the history of biblical scholarship in all of its developments and vicissitudes. It is not only a valuable resource for the student; it is also intensely interesting.
—I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen
This volume provides a thorough introduction to most of the major figures in the history of exegesis. It is a useful resource both as a work of reference and as a guide to further reading.
—Anthony N.S. Lane, director of research and senior lecturer in Christian doctrine, London Bible College
Donald K. McKim is Academic and Reference Editor for Westminster John Knox Press in Tennessee. He is the author and editor of a number of books including the Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, The Cambridge Companion to John Calvin, Calvin and the Bible and The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms.
Many Christians today long to become reacquainted with their ancient ancestors in the faith. They see a deeper worship and devotion in the prayers and hymns of the early church. And they believe that the writings of the early church can shed new light on their understanding of Scripture.
But where and how do we begin? Our first encounter with the writings of the church fathers may seem like visiting a far country where the language, assumptions, concerns and conclusions are completely unfamiliar to us.
In Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, Christopher Hall helps us through this cultural confusion, introducing us to the early church, its unique world, and the sights and sounds of Scripture that are highlighted for them. As Hall points out, the ancient fathers hear music in Scripture where we remain tone-deaf. Despite their occasional eccentricities, theirs is a hearing refined through long listening in song, worship, teaching, meditation and oral reading. And like true masters they challenge and correct our modern assumptions as they invite us to tune our ears to hear the divine melodies of the Bible.
Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers is an exceptional guide. Hall provides a warm, winsome, informative and indispensable introduction to who these leaders and scholars were, how they read and interpreted Scripture, and how we might read Scripture with them for all its worth.
Reading Scripture… provide[s] a much-needed corrective to Protestant ignorance and suspicion of tradition, combating the claim that somehow being traditionless is achievable and advantageous. Hall… [is] to be commended for letting the Fathers, these ‘long-forgotten relatives,’ speak to a wider audience.
Christopher A. Hall is dean of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University (St. Davids, Pennsylvania), where he has been teaching in the biblical and theological studies program. He is also associate editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.
Lorin L Cranford