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Interpretation and Obedience
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Interpretation and Obedience


Fortress Press 1991

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Known as one of America’s best theologians and one of the world’s foremost scholars on the Old Testament, Walter Brueggemann has inspired young scholars and students and driven the discourse on theology with some of the biggest players in contemporary Bible scholarship.

Drawing on specific texts that speak to cosmic hurt and personal possibility, Walter Brueggemann demonstrates the essential connection between faithful reading of the biblical text and faithful living in a world of banal, yet threatening values. He assesses the nature of obedience today in such areas as ministry, justice, the land, education, hospitality, and the contemporary imagination.

With the Logos Bible Software edition, you can journey through this volume with today’s most advanced tools for reading and studying God’s Word. All Scripture passages are linked to your library’s original language texts and English translations. Enhance your study with Logos’ advanced features—search by topic to find out what Brueggemann teaches on the Exodus, or find every mention of “Psalm 91” throughout his works.

Key Features

  • Provides essential Old Testament scholarship from one of the most prominent living scholars
  • Addresses crucial issues now facing the community of faith
  • Includes material perfect for pastors, professors, counselors, and Old Testament scholars


  • Part 1. Interpretation as an Act of Obedience
    • The Third World of Evangelical Imagination
    • The Embarrassing Footnote
    • The Legitimacy of a Sectarian Hermeneutic: 2 Kings 18–19
    • The Transformative Potential of a Public Metaphor: Isaiah 37:21–29
    • The Case for an Alternative Reading
    • Canonization and Contextualization
  • Part 2. Interpretation and Obedience
    • The Commandments and Liberated, Liberating Bonding
  • Part 3. Obedience as an Act of Interpretation
    • The Transofrmative Agenda of the Pastoral Office
    • Monopoly and Marginality in Imagination
    • God’s Faithful Plan: A Context for Caring Citizenship
    • Land: Fertility and Justice
    • The Land and Our Urban Appetites
    • Welcoming the Stranger
  • Part 4. A Cosmic Context for Interpretation and Obedience
    • Cosmic Hurt/Personal Possibility: Jer. 4:23–28; Isaiah 45:18–22; Luke 6:21–31

Praise for the Print Edition

Using analysis of specific biblical texts as the basis for his analysis of biblical authority, Brueggemann shows how the Bible imaginatively constructs a counter-cultural worldview and how the eternal divine intentions are to be practiced in our contemporary world. Perceiving the biblical alternative to our values is an act of “obedient interpretation,” while “interpretative obedience” discerns how the eternal divine commands are to be expressed in temporal ethical action. In this context, Brueggemann addresses current democratic, ecological, and urbanized crises. Recommended especially for seminary and large academic libraries.

Library Journal

Product Details

  • Title: Interpretation and Obedience
  • Author: Walter Brueggemann
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 336

About Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann through his teaching, lecturing, and writing, has effectively demonstrated the significance of the Old Testament for our fractured world today. Recognized as the preeminent interpreter of the ancient texts in relation to questions posed by a variety of academic disciplines, he has shown the way toward a compelling understanding of the major components of the faith and life of ancient Israel, especially its Psalms, the prophets, and the narratives. His award-winning Theology of the Old Testament quickly became a foundational work in the field.

Brueggemann, who holds a ThD from Union Seminary, New York, and a PhD from St. Louis University, is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He was previously professor of Old Testament at Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis. His many Fortress Press books, including The Threat of Life: Sermons on Pain, Power, and Weakness, exhibit a fecund combination of imaginative power, sound scholarship, and a passion of justice and redemption.