My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Review: Interpretation for Preaching and Teaching: An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Interpretation for Preaching and Teaching: An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics Interpretation for Preaching and Teaching: An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics by Stanley E Porter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The task of hermeneutics must come before homiletics.”

Understanding hermeneutics, or in more specific terms, the process by which we interpret scriptural text (aka exegesis), it an important first step in “preaching and teaching" scripture in a way that is applicable to today (aka homiletics). At just under 200 pages, this book is a quick read that is easily accessible to any reader, regardless of background (in other words, you don’t need to be a theologian or biblical scholar to understand and/or benefit from it). Ultimately we get an introduction to many of the critical methods used by scholars so that the reader is better able to understand context and nuance from which contending interpretations can emerge. In fact, I find this work to be an excellent companion to another favorite of mine: Biblical Reasoning which introduces that concept of biblical pressure to exegesis of scripture.

Beginning with a definition and brief history of hermeneutics and end with its use in homiletics, each chapter starts with a topical introduction, detailed discussion, study and practice recommendations and a conclusion to wrap it all up. While it is nearly impossible to eliminate all bias within the realm of biblical interpretation, the author does an awesome job chartering the middle path with a brief explanation of the pros and cons of the principle approaches (aka diachronic and synchronic approaches), genre and form analysis, et al. while making illustrating the author’s preferred approach (to facilitate preaching and teaching) using NT examples (Gospel and Philemon). My only critique here would probably be a wish for more in the study and practice section. Over all this book would be a excellent addition to the bookshelf of any student of the Christian Bible.

1. What Is Hermeneutics, and Why Are So Many Talking about It?
2. Hermeneutics and the Authority of Scripture
3. Hermeneutics at the Level of Language and Linguistics
4. Hermeneutics at the Level of Text: Part 1
5. Hermeneutics at the Level of Text: Part 2
6. Hermeneutics at the Level of Biblical Theology
7. Hermeneutics at the Level of Systematic Theology
8. Hermeneutics at the Level of at the Level of Homiletics

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#InterpretationForPreachingAndTeaching #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.