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Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible

Digital Logos Edition

Christianity Today 2006 Book Award Winner; Catholic Press Association 2006 Book Award Winner; ECPA 2006 Christian Book of the Year Award Winner

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Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible is a groundbreaking reference tool that seeks first of all to marry the tasks of exegesis and theology with the goal of theological interpretation of Scripture—that is, interpretation that has recovered a focus on the subject matter of Scripture: the nature and activity of God and the gospel. Second, it aims to provide a guide to understanding various interpretative approaches and a tool for evaluating them in light of this goal.

The dictionary covers a wide range of topics related to biblical interpretation with both depth and clarity. Topics include the theological interpretation of individual books of the Bible, issues of hermeneutics, various biblical interpreters and interpretative communities, and the interplay of interpretation with various doctrines and doctrinal themes. The contributors represent a diverse range of theological backgrounds and interpretative approaches and are experts in their respective fields.

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Baker Hermeneutics Collection (14 vols.)!

Resource Experts
  • List of Contributors
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Dictionary Articles
  • List of Articles by Category
  • Topical Index
  • Scripture Index

Top Highlights

“But ‘the reign’ has no meaning unless it is stated whose reign is in view. In other words, ‘the kingdom of God’ is not making a statement about a ‘thing’ called ‘the kingdom,’ but about God, that he is king. Thus, ‘the kingdom of God has come near’ means ‘God is taking over as king,’ and to ‘enter the kingdom of God’ is to come under his rule, to accept him as king.” (Page 420)

“The presupposition of classic Christianity affirms that all the Scriptures, owing to their common inspiration, reflect the same, homogeneous, mind—despite striking differences in angle, aspect, emphasis, vocabulary, and conceptual apparatus (in that sense, there are many theologies of atonement in the Bible, but they are not incompatible with one another).” (Pages 74–75)

“‘Hermeneutics’ denotes critical reflection upon processes of interpretation and understanding, especially the interpretation of biblical texts or texts that originate from within other cultures.” (Page 283)

“The theological interpretation of the Bible names a broad ecclesial concern that embraces a number of academic approaches.” (Page 22)

“Central to postmodernism is a profound sense that knower and that which is known are historically embedded so that there is no neutral vantage point from which objective, neutral analysis is possible.” (Page 601)

A landmark volume for the church's engagement with Scripture. It will be a basic resource on the role and use of the Bible.

Christianity Today

In this remarkable dictionary, the Bible is reclaimed as a book of and for the church. I predict that when the history of theology of our time is written what Vanhoozer, Bartholomew, Treier, and Wright have done will be seen as a watershed. In this book theology returns to its source, that is, Scripture.

—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School

Both the academy and the church have awakened to the need to bring exegesis and theology back into relationship with one another. This dictionary, partly because it covers such a wide range of topics, provides a useful resource for those engaged in learning how to read the Bible, with all its historical particularity, as a word from God to his people of this generation.

—Douglas Moo, Blanchard Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College

This dictionary will be an exceedingly useful addition to the library of every Christian, professional and lay, who wants to learn skills for reading the Bible more insightfully. Scholarly yet accessible, historically grounded yet forming us for the future, broadly global in perspective yet enabling readers to see the theological implications of biblical books and study methods for their own lives and their communities, the articles gathered here equip us all to know the triune God more thoroughly and to offer Christian alternatives to our world more gracefully and purposefully. This is an outstanding resource presented by many of my favorite teachers.

—Marva J. Dawn, teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College

Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author or editor of many books, including Is There a Meaning in This Text? and Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends.


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