Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Four Excellent Books on Biblical Interpretation

Some Christians struggle to interpret the bible correctly but wish they could do so. Others don't interpret it correctly and don't seem to care. Additionally, some passages are tough for just about anybody to comprehend. Because of all this, it's critical that we, Christ's church, do our best to understand what God is saying in scripture. One reason for the general impotence of the church in this country is that many Christians fail when interpreting what the bible means.

I'd like to recommend four excellent books that focus specifically on biblical interpretation. None are boring textbook types. Rather, they are enjoyable reads that you can work through without undue effort. I benefited from all four. I've previously written about them individually on this blog, but I'm grouping them together here in case you want to study a few at the same time.

In no particular order:

Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson

This book is a classic. Part of that is because Carson is a both prolific and wonderful writer. In this short text (only 140 pages) he covers word-study fallacies, grammatical fallacies, logical fallacies, and presuppositional and historical fallacies. A basic knowledge of New Testament Greek helps quite a bit when reading this book; I wouldn't say it is required, but it is a large benefit. If I could recommend only one book on biblical interpretation this would be the one.

40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible by Robert Plummer

I love the layout of this book. The author asks and answers forty specific questions as the forty chapters. This is superb because it allows the reader to easily pick and choose which chapters to read. I'm also pleased that Plummer deals quite a bit with genre, which is an often ignored but critical issue.

Click here to read my full review of this book.

The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff

This book is a lot of fun to read. Bargerhuff's text is composed of eighteen chapters that focus on eighteen common, incorrect biblical interpretations. For example, he tackles "Do not judge," "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you," "Where two or three are gathered," "If my people who are called by my name," "Money is the root of all evil," "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and several others. This would be a great book for any Christian to read, especially those who are first wading into the issue of biblical interpretation.

Click here to read my full review of this book.

Urban Legends of the New Testament by David Croteau

Croteau's book is similar to Bargerhuff's but a little more advanced. Urban Legends deals with forty poor interpretations specifically of New Testament passages. If you are more than a beginner in interpreting the bible, then I recommend this text over The Most Misused Verses in the Bible. Think of Bargerhuff's book as being more fun, but Croteau's as being more beneficial.

Click here to read my full review of this book.

For other reading on biblical interpretation, take a look at two blog series I've written on this subject:

Church, Bible, And Interpretation - It's Not So Simple
Old Testament Interpretive Problems Always Lead to Church Problems

Finally, enjoy:

No comments: