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Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture: Recovering a Christian Practice

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Theological interpretation of Scripture is a growing trend in biblical interpretation, with an emphasis on the contexts of canon, creed, and church. This approach seeks to bridge the gap between biblical studies and theology, which grew wide with the ascendancy of critical approaches to Scripture. Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture is the first clear, syst Theological interpretation of Scripture is a growing trend in biblical interpretation, with an emphasis on the contexts of canon, creed, and church. This approach seeks to bridge the gap between biblical studies and theology, which grew wide with the ascendancy of critical approaches to Scripture. Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture is the first clear, systematic introduction to this movement for students. The book surveys the movement's history, themes, advocates, and positions and seeks to bring coherence to its various elements. Author Daniel Treier also explores what he sees as the greatest challenges the movement will have to address as it moves into the future. This helpful book is appropriate for pastors and lay readers interested in biblical interpretation.


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Theological interpretation of Scripture is a growing trend in biblical interpretation, with an emphasis on the contexts of canon, creed, and church. This approach seeks to bridge the gap between biblical studies and theology, which grew wide with the ascendancy of critical approaches to Scripture. Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture is the first clear, syst Theological interpretation of Scripture is a growing trend in biblical interpretation, with an emphasis on the contexts of canon, creed, and church. This approach seeks to bridge the gap between biblical studies and theology, which grew wide with the ascendancy of critical approaches to Scripture. Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture is the first clear, systematic introduction to this movement for students. The book surveys the movement's history, themes, advocates, and positions and seeks to bring coherence to its various elements. Author Daniel Treier also explores what he sees as the greatest challenges the movement will have to address as it moves into the future. This helpful book is appropriate for pastors and lay readers interested in biblical interpretation.

30 review for Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture: Recovering a Christian Practice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Alan

    This is a wonderful book if you approach it with the right expectation. It is less prescriptive than descriptive, narrating and taking stock of where the so-called theological interpretation of scripture "movement" has come, who have been the players, and where it might go. This is a wonderful book if you approach it with the right expectation. It is less prescriptive than descriptive, narrating and taking stock of where the so-called theological interpretation of scripture "movement" has come, who have been the players, and where it might go.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Interesting. Some very good things to say. Not wholly sold on the entire endeavor.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Schiess

    Truly an introduction, and quite helpful on that front by describing the history, current debates, and places for further conversation. Great place to start building up a reading list.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Nichols

    Three cheers for TIS.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    A friend recommended Treier's book when I expressed interest in learning more about Biblical interpretation. Although he had good intentions, this book isn't as "introductory" as it sounds. First of all, it's important to know from the outset that "theological interpretation" refers to a very specific method of interpretation of the Bible that has begun to take form beginning in the mid-1900s with Karl Barth. This might seem obvious to some readers, but the title seems to suggest (for unaware re A friend recommended Treier's book when I expressed interest in learning more about Biblical interpretation. Although he had good intentions, this book isn't as "introductory" as it sounds. First of all, it's important to know from the outset that "theological interpretation" refers to a very specific method of interpretation of the Bible that has begun to take form beginning in the mid-1900s with Karl Barth. This might seem obvious to some readers, but the title seems to suggest (for unaware readers) that it seems to be some kind of straightforward manual. It's not. Secondly, for as much time as Treier spends developing the "common themes" of the movement in part 1, I couldn't find a satisfying description of the movement until the conclusion. I'm still amazed that an editor at Baker Academic didn't step in and insist that the common definitions and concepts referred to throughout the book should be placed in the introduction. Despite this glaring oversight, Part 1 is a valuable resource for understanding the historical background behind theological interpretation and the catalysts for its development. Part 2, titled "Continuing Challenges," deals with tangential issues associated with the movement. I'm sure that many scholars would find these observations helpful, but I'm hesitant to lump them in as "introductory" concerns. If you are looking for an introduction to "how to read the Bible," beware that this probably isn't the best starting place for you. If you want to learn about a contemporary movement that is attempting to rediscover the Bible in the 21st century, "Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture" could certainly be helpful. Just start with the conclusion and know what you're getting into. --- I found a brief article online by Robert Plummer that is an excellent introduction to theological interpretation. I would recommend it a supplement (or even as a replacement) for Treier's text depending on the reader's degree of interest and prior knowledge. https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    [from Amazon] This book is a very helpful and readable introduction to theological interpretation. Treier has not only read the relevant and important material in this area (he was an associate editor for the 'Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible'), but he has the ability to clearly layout the central aspects of the movement in a way that students can understand. The book includes discussion of figures such as Barth, Watson and Fowl (among many others) and engages with fields an [from Amazon] This book is a very helpful and readable introduction to theological interpretation. Treier has not only read the relevant and important material in this area (he was an associate editor for the 'Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible'), but he has the ability to clearly layout the central aspects of the movement in a way that students can understand. The book includes discussion of figures such as Barth, Watson and Fowl (among many others) and engages with fields and topics like the rule of faith (including pre-critical interpretation), biblical theology, general hermeneutics, and global theology as they relate to theological interpretation. The intro also interacts with Roman Catholic interpretation (esp. Matthew Levering's new work) which is a plus. At the end of almost every chapter Treier enters into a discussion on the image of God based on the descriptions that were just presented. This was very helpful because it provided an example of how this is fleshed-out rather than leaving you with a mere theory or history of how this "could" be done. While the book is appropriately instructive, it does contain controversial elements. For example, Treier writes that "the presuppositions of interpreters have often had a bad name in biblical studies... Presuppositions are 'baggage' to be set aside as much as humanly possible in a quest for 'objectivity.' This metaphor points to an alternative, however: baggage usually carries with us that which is essential, not that which we need to get rid of. What if presuppositions are not a threat to objectivity but rather an aid in preserving it?" (202). Some will cheer on such questions, yet others will become uncomfortable with the idea of even asking them. Nevertheless, these are important questions, and Treier's book helps present possible answers. Overall, I highly recommend this book. It also includes a seven page "suggested reading" at the end and helpful index.

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

    A nice introduction to Theological interpretation of the Bible, mapping out the various approaches. Theological interpretation is essentially a critique of the sort of critical approaches which have dominated much of the exegetical approach of those in Biblical studies. Treier posits (uncontroversially) that Barth paved the way for a recovery of reading the text within a theological framework. In Part I of his book he examines the various approaches: the recovery of pre-critical strategies of in A nice introduction to Theological interpretation of the Bible, mapping out the various approaches. Theological interpretation is essentially a critique of the sort of critical approaches which have dominated much of the exegetical approach of those in Biblical studies. Treier posits (uncontroversially) that Barth paved the way for a recovery of reading the text within a theological framework. In Part I of his book he examines the various approaches: the recovery of pre-critical strategies of interpretation (chap. 1), reading with (a) rule(s) of faith (chap. 2) and reading within the church community (chap. 3). In Part II he presents further challenges and necessary points of contact for those who would engage in Theological Interpretation. Chapter 4 reviews and discusses the contribution of the Biblical Theology movement. Chapter 5 discusses the insights of general hermeneutics in interpretation. Chapter 6 discusses the post-colonial challenges to Western interpretation. The ultimate goal of the sort of theological interpretation that Treier is arguing for is to encounter God in the text of scripture. This book does a good job of surveying the contributions of various advocates and practioners. It does well at pointing at 'who' is doing theological interpretation and a fairly decent job of 'how' they are attempting to do it. I came away from reading this book with a list of theologians I would like to read more on this topic.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Corey Hampton

    Good introduction to TIS. Treier does a great job plotting TIS within the history of interpretation and hermeneutical theory, alongside informing readers of its contemporary advocates. The suggested reading in the back is a huge help as well. I recommend the book - I'm just not an advocate for TIS. Maybe I will return to this review in the future to spell out why; but for now, read this blog from Andrew Perriman (based off Douglas Campbell's hermeneutical work). Good introduction to TIS. Treier does a great job plotting TIS within the history of interpretation and hermeneutical theory, alongside informing readers of its contemporary advocates. The suggested reading in the back is a huge help as well. I recommend the book - I'm just not an advocate for TIS. Maybe I will return to this review in the future to spell out why; but for now, read this blog from Andrew Perriman (based off Douglas Campbell's hermeneutical work).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    This does do a good job of introducing readers to a theological interpretation of Scripture, but only from the point of view of an Evangelical Christian. There is no interaction with the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic branches of Christianity (which have been more familiar with the Church Fathers than most Protestants). It is by an Evangelical who is only concerned with other Evangelical viewpoints and concerns specific to them. A great idea but for me there was a lot to be desired.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Demetrius Rogers

    If this was written with more clarity and continuity it would've been a helpful little book. It turned out to be somewhat of a field manual for those interested in a synthesis of the field of biblical studies and theology. However, as the title and the first chapter suggests, the book was supposed to be about the hermeneutics of deriving the spiritual sense from the text. (Something Treier didn't get to until the last few pages.) A little disappointed with this one. If this was written with more clarity and continuity it would've been a helpful little book. It turned out to be somewhat of a field manual for those interested in a synthesis of the field of biblical studies and theology. However, as the title and the first chapter suggests, the book was supposed to be about the hermeneutics of deriving the spiritual sense from the text. (Something Treier didn't get to until the last few pages.) A little disappointed with this one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Stout

    Very interesting. I think the introduction was the most helpful part of the book. In addition to giving a good historical orientation to the topic, the introduction achieved a level of clarity that I found lacking in other parts of the book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tyson Guthrie

    A great introduction. Being new to the contemporary theological interpretation world, Treier's given me a good map (his image) of the conversation. I especially appreciate his application of the subject matter of each chapter to the case study of Gen. 1:26-27. A great introduction. Being new to the contemporary theological interpretation world, Treier's given me a good map (his image) of the conversation. I especially appreciate his application of the subject matter of each chapter to the case study of Gen. 1:26-27.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    A very nice introduction to theological hermeneutics. The "Suggested Reading" list is worth the price of the book alone. A very nice introduction to theological hermeneutics. The "Suggested Reading" list is worth the price of the book alone.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ben Montoya

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nate Claiborne

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dayton

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Kleven

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Turner

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Larymore

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara Barton

  22. 4 out of 5

    Madison

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leasha

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Curtis

  25. 5 out of 5

    Donald L. Coldwell Jr.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Martin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Duerrstein

  28. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Henderson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zack Thompson

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