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Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters

, 1998
ISBN: 9781514008133
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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.

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Top Highlights

“One should ‘speak as the oracles of God.’ In quoting this phrase from 1 Peter 4:11 (AV), Wesley seeks ‘always to express Scripture sense in Scripture phrase.’” (Page 387)

“Wesley followed others by calling this general tenor ‘the analogy of faith.’” (Page 387)

“Wesley’s rules for interpreting Scripture are best summarized as follows” (Page 387)

“In letting Scripture explain itself his basic rule was to proceed from clear passages to the more obscure” (Page 9)

“To speak of Alexandrian exegesis immediately evokes the term allegorism, and rightly so” (Page 6)

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

  • Title: Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters
  • Author: Donald K. McKim
  • Publisher: IVP
  • Print Publication Date: 1998
  • Logos Release Date: 2007
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Biblical scholars; Bible › Criticism, interpretation, etc.--History
  • ISBNs: 9781514008133, 0830814523, 1514008130, 9780830814527
  • Resource Type: text.monograph.handbook
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-12-02T20:47:28Z

The Logos edition of Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters equips you for better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your digital library effectively and efficiently, searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly, and performing word studies. Additionally, important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and other resources in your library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Donald K. McKim is executive editor for theology and reference at Westminster John Knox Press. 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.


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  1. Andrew Malone
    I find dictionaries an easy way to get a succinct grasp on topics. Here, we meet brief biographies of key biblical interpreters from each era of the church, along with summaries of their interpretive approaches and contributions. There's now a new and expanded edition, which is potentially confusing with its updated title: Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 2007), also available in Logos format.


Digital list price: $26.99
Save $5.00 (18%)