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Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation Paperback – Jan 1989

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The best 20 Nov. 2012
By Frederic C Putnam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is *the* state-of-the-art introduction to the application of modern linguistics to biblical interpretation, although "introduction" may be too weak a term, especially for chapter 5. Every chapter is heavily illustrated with helpful examples from everyday life and the New Testament.

Chapters are: (1) "Language, Linguistics, and Biblical Interpretation" (brief, basic intro to linguistics); (2) "Semantics and Hermeneutics" (focus on the meaning of "meaning"); (3) "Dimensions of the Meaning of a Discourse" (each section begins with "Meaning as/and ...", ending with "Meaning as 'Significance' and the Exegetical Task"); (4) "The Use and Abuse of Word Studies in Theology" (a much-needed explication of James Barr's work for a new generation); (5) "The Grammar of Words: Lexical Semantics" (perhaps the heaviest chapter in the book, especially their discussion of "concept-orienated" and "field-orientated" approaches to word sense, and collocational vs. substitutional relationships between words--challenging for non-linguists, but very, very important, given the emphasis on "word meaning" in most commentaries and works on hermeneutics and exegesis); (6) "Sentences and Sentence Clusters" (extends the discussion of ch. 5 to the sense relations between sentences; brilliantly helpful introduction to "Semantic Structure Analysis" (two sections)); (7) "Discourse Analysis" (intro to the concept of discourse, the significance of discourse structures in interpretation, ending with an outstanding discussion of the rape of Tamar (2 Sam 13)); (8) "Discourse Analysis: The Special Case of Conversation" (intro to how conversation works, and the implications of this for reading the many biblical passages that are built around or consist entirely of dialogue, ending with a wonderful study of Nicodemus' conversation with Jesus (John 3); readers may want to refer to some of Deborah Tannen's works); (9) "Non-Literal Language" (the function and meaning of affective language, metaphor, parables, allegories, well-illustrated by discussions of "burning coals" (Ro 12.20) and congregational worship (1 Cor 11.2-16)).

I would like more illustrations from the OT/TNK (my only caution), but the authors are a linguist-missiologist (Cotterell) and NT scholar (Turner); the principles are easily transferred.

This book should be studied (not merely read) not only by everyone preparing for a ministry of preaching or teaching, but by every serious student of Scripture.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Want a Clear Understanding of Linguistics for Biblical Interpretation? 11 Jan. 2013
By Dennis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This edition by Cotterell provides the student of interpretation with a deeper more complete view of how linguistic studies impacts biblical interpretation. This was a valuable read for interpretation studies.
Five Stars 21 Jan. 2015
By Timothy David Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great! Thank you!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An essential book on Hermeneutics 7 Dec. 2013
By Gary Marble - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an essential book on hermeneutics from a linguistic perspective. This is a book I go back to often; it is a must read for those serious about interpreting Scripture accurately. It is one of those books that will change the way you look at interpreting Scripture forever!
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