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Reading the Bible With the Dead: What You Can Learn from the History of Exegesis That You Can't Learn from Exegesis Alone [Paperback]

By John L. Thompson (Author)
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Item description for Reading the Bible With the Dead: What You Can Learn from the History of Exegesis That You Can't Learn from Exegesis Alone by John L. Thompson...

Overview
Many Christians would describe themselves as serious and regular readers of the Bible. Yet, if we are honest, we have a tendency to stick with the parts of the Bible that we understand, leaving vast tracts of Scripture unexplored. Even when following a guide, we may never reach into the Bible's less-traveled regions, passages marked by violence, tragedy, offense, or obscurity. Where our modern minds shy away from, however, ancient, medieval, and Reformation commentators dove into. In fact, they often displayed strikingly contemporary interests and sensitivities to the difficulties, meaning, and moral implications of the Bible's most difficult narratives. Reading the Bible with the Dead presents a remarkably engrossing exploration of these passages through the eyes of those who came before. In doing so, readers will be left with a conviction that the legacy of the faithful interpreters of the past can guide and challenge readers and hearers today.

Publishers Description
Many Christians would describe themselves as serious and regular readers of the Bible. Yet, if we are honest, most of us have a tendency to stick with the parts of the Bible that we understand or are comforted by, leaving vast tracts of Scripture unexplored. Even when following a guide, we may never reach into the Bible's less-traveled regions -- passages marked by violence, tragedy, offense, or obscurity. What our modern minds shy away from, however, ancient, medieval, and Reformation commentators dove into. In fact, their writings often display strikingly contemporary interests and sensitivities to the meaning and moral implications of the Bible's difficult narratives. John Thompson here presents nine case studies in the history of exegesis -- including the stories of Hagar and Jephthah's daughter, the imprecatory psalms, and texts that address domestic relations, particularly divorce -- in order to demonstrate the valuable insights into Scripture that we can gain not only from what individual commentators say but from fifteen centuries' cumulative witness to the meaning of Scripture in the life of the church. Visit Dr. Thompson's companion website at: http: //purl.oclc.org/net/jlt/exegesis so access further features such as a list of commentary literature in English through the year 1700 and sample sermons that model a homiletic use of the history of interpretation.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Reading the Bible With the Dead: What You Can Learn from the History of Exegesis That You Can't Learn from Exegesis Alone by John L. Thompson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christian Century - 09/18/2007 page 43
  • Christian Century - 10/16/2007 page 34


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   324
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.6" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2007
Publisher   WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO.
ISBN  0802807534  
ISBN13  9780802807533  


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More About John L. Thompson


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! After serving as a missionary and pastor for over three decades, John L. Thompson is now on staff with the Navigators, enthusiastically training pastors and leading seminars in the art of making disciples for Christ. He and his wife, Debbie, have four grown children, each faithfully serving the Lord within the city of Chicago. not applicable

John L. Thompson was born in 1931 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Liverpool Polytechnic Fuller Theological Seminary Fuller Theological S.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible Study > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History


Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Reading the Bible With the Dead: What You Can Learn from the History of Exegesis That You Can't Learn from Exegesis Alone?

Engaging and Accessible Snapshot of the History of Exegesis  Sep 3, 2008
This book is a highly readable and engaging look at the history of biblical interpretation, presented in the form of nine case studies of some of scripture's most difficult texts. Thompson gives a brief overview of how commentators from the early church through the Reformation made sense of such troubling stories and teachings as the sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter, the imprecatory psalms, and Paul's words about women's role in the church. The format and purpose of the book do not allow for detailed summaries, but the cumulative effect is sufficient to impress upon the reader the humility to realize that our generation is not the first to recognize the problems and challenges in these passages.

Conversing with the likes of Augustine, Erasmus, and Vermigli about these passages can embolden the modern preacher and teacher to reclaim these texts, often considered too difficult, obscure or embarrassing to explore. And Thompson aids this process by including at the end of each chapter a handful of lessons on how to appropriate these texts in our own day, and on how to read scripture more generally.

By looking at how a wide variety of premodern commentators regarded these particular texts, the reader is also given a helpful overview of these commentators' various theological frameworks, and of the guiding interpretive principles of their ages. Many readers are familiar with the general theological outlooks of heavyweights like Calvin and Luther, but most are unfamiliar with other important figures like Denis the Carthusian, Wolfgang Musculus, and Nicholas Lyra, and this book provides a helpful introduction to these men. There is also a scattering of interesting tidbits about various theologians and their times (did you know that Martin Luther for a time advocated bigamy, as a lesser offense than divorce?; were you aware that cattle-rustling in the middle ages was an acceptable reason for divorce?).

The final chapter makes a convincing case for the importance of modern-day people who love Jesus and respect the church to be acquainted with the history of exegesis and to be in conversation with Christians of the past. A lengthy appendix provides detailed endnotes, an identification list of premodern commentators mentioned in the book, and a "finding guide" for further reading of source material.

Throughout the book, Thompson gives a defense of the often-embattled church. To be a Christian ultimately means to follow Christ--but following Christ includes engaging with the historical church that Christ calls his body, and which he enjoins to carry his message and do his work in the world.

Highly recommended.
 

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