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Reading and Understanding the Bible

Ben Witherington III

Publication Date - 07 November 2014

ISBN: 9780199340576

304 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

World-renowned biblical scholar Ben Witherington III shows students how to read and understand the Bible in the context of the ancient world that produced it


With his usual flair and reader-friendly style, Ben Witherington III brings us a fresh and distinctive guide to interpreting the Bible. Ideal for courses in Biblical Interpretation, Hermeneutics, and Introduction to the Bible, Reading and Understanding the Bible is unique in that it carefully examines the various genres of literature in the Bible while also explaining how to interpret each within its proper context. Taking a faith-friendly approach to historically based interpretation, it shows students how to read the Bible with a keen awareness of the many and profound differences between the modern world and ancient biblical cultures. It explains how ancient societies worked, how documents were created, who preserved them and why, the patriarchal nature of all ancient cultures, and, most importantly, how these cultural characteristics should affect our reading of the Bible.


* An exceptionally lucid and dynamic writing style, an eight-page color-photo insert, and helpful maps and charts keep students engaged

* Sample contextual interpretations of biblical passages illustrate foundational hermeneutical principles

* A comprehensive glossary and suggested further readings offer students additional support

About the Author(s)

Ben Witherington III is Amos Professor of the New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and also serves on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. One of the world's top evangelical scholars, he has written more than fifty books and is also a popular lecturer. Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, he has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, the BBC, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.


"Reading and Understanding the Bible is an up-to-date introduction to biblical interpretation that takes seriously both the more recent advances and ideas in hermeneutics and the historical and cultural context of the biblical writings themselves."--Jon Mark Robertson, Multnomah Biblical Seminary

"Witherington writes from the perspective of a believer who is convinced that God speaks through the Scripture, that the Scripture is normative for us, that we need to get at the intended meaning of the text, and that we do that through grappling with the contexts."--Steve Rodeheaver, Point Loma Nazarene University

"Witherington's writing style is lucid and approachable for undergraduate students."--David Howle, Wayland Baptist University

"This book will be a useful tool for many introductory courses in scriptural interpretation."-- Kenny Edward Hilliard III, The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Table of Contents

    An Invitation to Explore the Bible
    Part One: Surveying the Terrain, Studying the Map
    1. 'Let the Reader Understand'
    2. The Grand Narrative of the Bible
    3. The History in the Bible
    4. On Figuring out What's Figurative, and on Learning about the Letter of the Law
    5. Of Parables, Promises, and Prophecies
    6. The Oral and Rhetorical Character of the Ancient Biblical World
    7. Social Realities and Cultural Scripts in Bible Times
    8. The Theological Structures of the Gospels
    Part Two: Unearthing the Treasure
    9. The Basic Rules of the Road: Hermeneutics
    10. Digging Deeper: Historical Narrative
    11. Digging Deeper: The Psalms
    12. Digging Deeper: Isaiah
    13. Digging Deeper: The Prophecy and Parables of Jesus
    14. Digging Deeper: Paul--His Reflections on Hymn and Him
    15. Next Steps
    16. Did the Canon Misfire? The Bible's Story
    Epilogue: Found in Translation

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