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Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old [Paperback]

By Robert L. Thomas (Editor)
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Item description for Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old by Robert L. Thomas...

Recent years have witnessed an array of changes in the way evangelicals read, interpret, and apply Scripture's core teachings. In this volume accomplished scholar, Robert L. Thomas carefully chronicles and evaluates the shifts in evangelical hermeneutics. The goal of the volume is fourfold: To discuss the recent changes in evangelical hermeneutics To show new meanings being attached to grammatical-historical interpretation To compare traditional grammatical-historical interpretation with new evangelical hermeneutics. To identify the dominant principles of new evangelical hermeneutics.

Publishers Description

Hermeneutical theory has been extensively expanded, refined, and rethought over the last three decades--leading to both confusion and conflict over how contemporary evangelicals should read, interpret, and apply Scripture.

Dr. Thomas compares, contrasts, and clarifies the basic characteristics of and developing conflicts between traditional evangelical hermeneutics and newer theories that place one's "preunderstanding" at the beginning of the interpretive process. This accomplished and acclaimed scholar evaluates how some newer methods may open the door to unorthodox--and potentially spurious--interpretations of Scripture's core teachings.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Kregel Academic & Professional
Pages   554
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.6" Height: 1.17"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 13, 2003
Publisher   Kregel Academic & Professional
Edition  REV and Updated  
ISBN  082543839X  
ISBN13  9780825438394  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Robert L. Thomas

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert L. Thomas is Professor of New Testament at The Master's Seminary, Sun Valley, California.

Robert L. Thomas has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Strongest Strong's Strongest Strong's
  2. Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary
  3. Zondervancharts

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Hermeneutics

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

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Reviews - What do customers think about Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old?

An absolutely critical issue  Sep 2, 2005
Robert Thomas has given a call to evangelicals to realize that in their ranks that some have been changing the rules for the worse, the rules that should be followed in interpreting the Bible. Hermeneutics, the set of rules or principles for proper interpretation of God's revelation, is SO FOUNDATIONAL to everything else that it can be argued that the concerns Thomas raises makes this work the most crucial one today, other than the Bible itself, because everything else is built on it.

There may be some refinements that others could make in this topic, and one could hope that Thomas or someone else will address these issues also in a more popular work, but this book should form a strong foundation for any such future efforts.

Without question, I believe that anyone concerned with accurately understanding what God has revealed to His creatures, needs to be aware of these concerns, and those in positions of influence to guide the Church, seminary and other professors, pastors, Christian leaders, CANNOT ignore its implications. They need to understand what has been happening and take action to shore up the foundation and protect the propositional truth that God has given us in His Word.
A Must Read  Jan 27, 2004

There are some books I can read in an evening or two and feel like I have a good grasp of what the book is all about. There are others that I can pour over hour after hour and still feel like I am only scratching the surface of the book. Evangelical Hermeneutics falls into the latter category. Though not an easy read, this book is rewarding.

Hermeneutics is one of the steps used in interpreting and studying the Bible. Specifically, the author defines it as "a set of principles for interpreting the Bible." Once a passage has been properly interpreted, meaning and application can be drawn from it. It stands to reason that if the principles of interpretation are wrong, the meaning and application are likely to be wrong as well. What the author seeks to show is how these principles have changed over the past decades and the effect that is having on Christianity today.

The author's goal for this book is fourfold:
-To discuss the recent changes in recent hermeneutics
-To show new meanings being attached to grammatical-historical interpretation
-To compare traditional grammatical-historical interpretation with new evangelical hermeneutics
-To identify the dominant principles of new evangelical hermeneutics

Robert Thomas believes strongly in the value of the traditional form of hermeneutics, known as the grammatical-historical method. Throughout the books he cites examples of modern theologians who have either wrongly applied grammatical-historical principles or have invented new methods of hermeneutics. More importantly, he shows the effects these people have had on the Christian world. He focuses specifically on several issues: feminism, open theism, missiology, theonomy and a few others. One of the more fascinating chapters deals with dynamic equivalence (which is a method of Bible translation) and how it is not as much a method of translation as a set of hermeneutical principles. Some of the other topics that caught my attention were preunderstanding and the New Testament use of the Old Testament.

There are several applications to my life and my faith that I have taken from this book. First, it has solidified my understanding of the principle of single meaning, which states that each passage in the Bible has one and only one meaning. Second, it has helped me see the value of the grammatical-historical method. Though this is the system I have adhered to in the past, I am now more confident that it is the most Scriptural method. Third, I see the importance of removing all possible preunderstanding before I examine a text. What I mean by this, is if I am going to examine what the Bible says about the role of women in ministry, I need to look at the passages to determine what they mean, not what they say about women's roles. It is a subtle but important difference. Finally, I have come to understand more clearly the Holy Spirit's role in helping me understand the Bible.

I can't deny that at times I felt lost in this book, primarily because the book presupposes a greater grasp of hermeneutics than I currently have. The other reason is that it spends a lot of time discussing the end-times and that is not a topic I have studied in great depth. The author also tends to use words without fully defining them. An example is the word "meaning" which he defines as "the author's truth intention." "Truth intention" is not a phrase I am familiar with, though perhaps if I was more familiar with hermeneutics I would be.

I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand how Scripture is supposed to be used. Realize, though, that it does help to have a solid understanding of hermeneutics before reading it. I suspect I will be returning to this book often as I study the Word.

Crucial  Oct 7, 2003
I believe that this is the most important book written on hermeneutics in a generation. Thomas ably defends the grammatical-historical hermeneutic, and displays where other authors depart from same methodology while claiming not to. Every conservative seminarian should read this in hermeneutics class in company with Terry or Ramm.
Must Read!  Feb 10, 2003
Great book! Every Christian should read this book and then read it again. Robert Thomas shines an abundance of much needed light on this extremely important issue.

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