Is the Bible just a book of ancient Israelite and Christian history and practices to be read? Or are we engaging in a more interactive practice when we study God's word? Jeannine K. Brown believes that communication is at the heart of what we do when we open the Bible, that we are actively engaging God in a conversation that can be life changing. By learning about how Scripture communicates, modern readers can extract much more meaning out of the text than they could if simply reading the Bible as though it was a list of rules or a collection of stories. In Scripture as Communication, Brown offers professors, students, church leaders, and laity a basic guide to the theory and practice of biblical interpretation, helping them understand our engagement with Scriptures as primarily a communicative act.
In this basic guide to the theory and practice of biblical hermeneutics, Brown proposes a communication model as an effective approach to interpreting the Bible. Drawing upon thinkers such as Kevin Vanhoozer, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Anthony Thiselton, she first explicates and then demonstrates how such a model can enhance our ability to understand Scripture. Brown's fresh, engaging voice comes through in this clearly written guide for professors, students, and church leaders.
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“what is hermeneutics? The short answer is that hermeneutics is the study of the activity of interpretation.” (Page 20)
“Literary context is defined as the written material surrounding a text in question.” (Page 24)
“Meaning is what we are trying to grasp when we interpret.” (Page 22)
“Contextualization is the task of bringing a biblical author’s meaning to bear in other times and cultures. To shift the emphasis a bit, to contextualize is to hear Scripture’s meaning speak in new contexts.” (Page 25)
“The genre of a biblical text or book refers to its classification as a specific kind of literature.” (Page 24)
This is a very well written and engaging book that should prove to be a very helpful aid to both instructors and students specializing in the field of biblical hermeneutics and communication theory.
—Tony Costa, Review of Biblical Literature