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Biblical Interpretation: Past & Present [Paperback]

By Gerald L. Bray (Author)
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Item description for Biblical Interpretation: Past & Present by Gerald L. Bray...

Standing at the beginning of the third millennium, the call to draw biblical interpretation back into the heart of the church is being sounded. The Bible and its interpretation belong to the church. Gerald Bray has written this comprehensive guide to the history of biblical interpretation out of the conviction that biblical interpretation and Christian doctrine go hand in hand. His account is history with a clear message.

Publishers Description
Voted one of Christianity Today's 1997 Books of the Year Never before has there been so much scholarly effort devoted to the study of the Bible. And yet, ironically, the church is in perilous danger of forgetting its rich inheritance of biblical interpretation. With this textbook, Gerald Bray sounds the call to draw biblical interpretation back to the heart of the church. Evangelical in perspective but ecumenical in both its historical breadth and its vision of the future, Bray's work is a comprehensive guide to biblical interpretation, past and present. Bray begins by introducing basic concepts in biblical interpretation that have remained constant through the ages: divine revelation, the nature of the canon, the relation of the biblical text to the life of Christian churches, and the tensions inherent in the act of biblical interpretation. He follows this introduction with three main sections, each covering an epoch of development within the history of biblical interpretation. The first surveys the period from the ancient church to the beginnings of modern historical-critical interpretation in the Renaissance and Reformation. The second engages the rise of modern historical-critical interpretation from the late seventeenth century through the twentieth century. The third investigates current trends in biblical interpretation that seek to offer alternatives to the dominant school of historical criticism. Each section is divided into chapters focusing on periods or schools of interpretation. And, as a further aid to readers, each chapter is divided into standard subsections: an introduction to the period or school of interpretation a brief who's who of major interpreters and their works an introduction to key critical, doctrinal or hermeneutical issues discussion and illustration of principal interpretive methods an examination of an particular book or passage that played a crucial role in biblical interpretation for the period or school under discussion Bray's organizational scheme allows readers to quickly grasp the issues, methods and interpreters of each period or school and to observe how classic issues and pivotal questions have shaped the church's use of the Bible in various historical contexts. Seminarians, pastors, teachers and lay leaders will welcomeBiblical Interpretation: Past and Present as an instructive guide to both the high points and the impasses of biblical interpretation. Here is history with a clear message, written out of the conviction that biblical interpretation and Christian doctrine go hand in hand.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IVP Academic
Pages   608
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.7"
Weight:   1.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830815651  
ISBN13  9780830815654  

Availability  92 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 04:37.
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More About Gerald L. Bray

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gerald L. Bray (Ph.D., La Sorbonne) is a professor at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and director of research at Latimer Trust. He has written and edited a number of books on different theological subjects. A priest of the Church of England, Bray has also edited the post-Reformation Anglican canons.

Gerald L. Bray has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
  2. Ancient Christian Doctrine
  3. Ancient Christian Texts
  4. Contours of Christian Theology
  5. Reformation Commentary on Scripture

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Language Studies

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Exegesis & Hermeneutics

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Reviews - What do customers think about Biblical Interpretation: Past & Present?

Great for Historical Purposes!  Jan 9, 2007
Bray's book is absolutely fantastic as a survey on the history of biblical exegesis. He provides a solid picture of each of the major historical periods in the development of modern exegesis. I can't recommend this book highly enough! Fantastic for college students or bible students.
Thorough Scholarship  Feb 11, 2001
If you have any knowledge of the thorough-going Protestant (and Evangelical) tradition of scholarship you will know what I mean when I say that Gerald Bray's "Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present" conforms to those standards. Here we clearly have a hard-working scholar who painstakingly collects evidence, ploughs through sources and collates data. Bray has done that here in collecting together and collating a wide and varied mix of ways of interpreting the Bible from across the centuries after the birth of Christ.

The latter point on dating is important for this is a book with pastoral intent. Bray is a church member and writes for Christian readers. He seeks to offer practical help in reading and interpreting the Bible as much as he seeks to write a good and readable history of its interpretation. Further, since Bray is an evangelical Christian the text of his book shows evidence of this. The high view of the Bible, evidenced throughout the text, is ample demonstration of this.

Bray's method is chronological but then shades into idiosyncrasy ("social trends in interpretation"? All trends are social and especially with the Bible!). However, in each period/topic Bray gives a substantial orientation to what was/is going on (where the writer's own interests become more obvious the closer to the present we get), provides useful bibliographies (if occasionally biased to the evangelical or protestant), a list of interpreters from the time and/or place and a working example to show what the methods of biblical interpretation he details would look like in practice. This is, thus, a teacher writing and, if this book be ample evidence of that teacher's skills, not a bad one. I learnt from this book both about the history of biblical interpretation and about the practice of biblical interpretation. If you can put up with the odd evangelicalism then I think most other readers interested in biblical interpretation would too.


Excellent Introduction to Bible Interpretation  May 17, 2000
Following an insightful introduction to the topic, the author takes the reader on an adventuresome survey of Biblical interpretation from the 1st century to the 20th. With a teacher's compassionate understanding, Mr. Bray provides key concepts without getting bogged down in endless details. To me, "Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present" reads more like a novel than a textbook. I hated sitting it down! For each major period in the development of Biblical interpretation (Patristic, Middle Ages, etc.) the reader is introduced to: (1) the key scholars and theologians (both conservative and liberal) of that period, (2) the key issues dealt with at that time, (3) the key methods employed and (4) a case study from the Scriptures. Throughout, Mr. Bray operates on two levels, revealing both (1) trend setting academic approaches and (2) what they have meant for the average person in the pew. This is one reference work I'm sure to come back to time and again.

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