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Who Owns the Bible?: Toward the Recovery of a Christian Hermeneutic (Companions to the New Testament) [Paperback]

By Karl Paul Donfried (Author)
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Item description for Who Owns the Bible?: Toward the Recovery of a Christian Hermeneutic (Companions to the New Testament) by Karl Paul Donfried...

In a world where people on all sides of major debates claim to speak for the Bible, how do we find our way back to a genuine understanding of scripture? In Who Owns the Bible?, Karl Donfried shows the inadequacy of the liberal Left, the far Right, and even mainstream Christian churches to grapple well with how to hear the witness of scripture in our day. He offers guidance on a number of major issues that concern us all.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Who Owns the Bible?: Toward the Recovery of a Christian Hermeneutic (Companions to the New Testament) by Karl Paul Donfried has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christianity Today - 05/01/2007 page 67
  • Christian Century - 10/03/2006 page 43

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Item Specifications...

Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 6.78" Height: 0.53"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2006
Publisher   The Crossroad Publishing Company
ISBN  0824523903  
ISBN13  9780824523909  

Availability  0 units.

More About Karl Paul Donfried

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Donfried is professor of religion and biblical literature, Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts.

Karl Paul Donfried currently resides in Northampton, in the state of New Hampshire.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Hermeneutics

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Who Owns the Bible?: Toward the Recovery of a Christian Hermeneutic (Companions to the New Testament)?

Great book!  Jun 8, 2007
Donfried has done the Church Catholic a great service by pushing for the recovery of a Trinitarian hermeneutic in this book. The method he suggests provides a "third way" for Biblical interpretation other than the typical pitfalls of either the fundamentalism of the religious right, or the religious left's antinomianism and selective twisting of Scripture to placate the surrounding culture. All in all, a great read!
An important contribution  Jul 26, 2006
Biblical scholar Karl Donfried has given the Church a great gift with this latest book. It should be on the syllabus of every Biblical Hermeneutics course, and it should be required reading for every seminarian. I certainly wish it had been available to me when I was a seminary student! In this book, Donfried argues that Biblical scholarship, once the discipline of Christian believers, is now done principally in the secular academy which does not have a commitment to the faith of the Church. Thus, many 'alien hermeneutics' have been introduced by the academy and these have crept into the Church causing much confusion and corruption. While remaining loyal to the historical critical method in which he was trained, Donfried makes the strong case for a recovery of Biblical interpretation within the context of the Trinitarian faith of the Church Catholic. As a pastor, my fervent hope is that this remarkable book will serve to re-anchor Protestant preaching and teaching in the classical Nicene faith of the Church
a compelling case for a rooted approach to interpreting Scripture  Jul 7, 2006
One of the questions fomenting the Church at the moment in regard to Scripture is whether everyone - pastor and layperson alike - is evoking the spirit of post-modernism, so that the meaning and application of the Bible is ultimately whatever each individual decides it is.

In his new book, Karl Donfried (recently retired professor of religion at Smith College) frames the current interpretation problem in terms of various "alien" hermeneutics that both conservatives and liberals are prone to bring in to the text. He compellingly argues that these alien hermeneutics exert influence when Scripture is separated from an interpretive context and becomes subservient to the latest political ideologies.

The most powerful section of the book begins with chapter 4, in which the author shows the contrast between alien hermeneutics that lead to a theology of acceptance "which reduces the mystery of God to one who simply wants us to love one another with an emphasis on the affirmation of the other," and a Trinitarian hermeneutic that leads to a theology of redemption and robustly engages with the ethical implications of Scripture - both personally and corporately. The strength of the book continues in chapter 5, in which the author focuses a specific application of a Trinitarian hermeneutic on probably the most pressing ethical issue currently at play in the Church - sexuality and the moral life.

Donfried's book is highly readable and accessible for minister and lay person alike. From my own context as a layperson, I found the book an extremely helpful resource for addressing some challenging questions that the people of the Church need to keep wrestling with - particularly how does the Bible influence the ethical decisions that we make both individually and within churches, families, communities, and even broader structures?
An incisive and helpful book  Jul 6, 2006
This book is both a survey of how the Bible is being used in church life and a prescription for ways in which it should be used. Prof. Donfried shows how the Christian far right and far left both misuse the Bible, and how moderate Christians frequently forget about the Bible in church decision-making. This is a provocative book which is very well put together for a readership of lay persons and clergy alike. The very reason Prof. Donfried needed to write this book is the fact that biblical studies and the mainstream church in the USA have moved so far away from each other. This causes biblical studies for some to become more and more narrowly academic, and it causes the church to move its decision-making farther and farther away from biblical exegesis.

Prof. Donfried, both a top New Testament scholar and a devoted churchman, is calling the church back to its roots in reasonable biblical exegesis and interpretation. Likewise he is calling academic biblical studies to reconsider its roots in the church and church life. No scholar I know is more qualified to do both.

I strongly recommend this important book
Relevant and Thoughtful!   Jun 28, 2006
Who owns the Bible? Who determines what it means? In an age where biblical authority is claimed by many across the political and theological spectrum, this book is a timely and relevant treatment of how the church can interpret the Bible with faithfulness to its tradition and confessions. Donfried evaluates both the religious right and religious left with a critical eye in his latest book. He handles with integrity the current major issues in the debate over biblical interpretation, including ethics, morality, sexuality, divorce, and women's ordination. The work is both erudite and accessible, combining insights from rigorous scholarship and revealing a solid grounding in the church's confession of faith in the triune God. Who Owns the Bible? is highly recommended for all of those interested in how to interpret the Bible faithfully in our complex modern age. Faithful scholars, clergy, and laity alike will benefit from Who Owns the Bible?

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