Grasping God's Word: A Hands-on Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible Hardcover – 1 Aug 2005
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"...a wonderfully user-friendly book for serious readers who desire to journey into the world of the Bible in order to better understand it and to live faithfully in today's world." - From the foreword by Kevin J. Vanhoozer. "Excellent, practical, and accurate. It leads students from the most fundamental building blocks of interpretation (including skills that most beginning students lack) through all the essential processes." - Craig S. Keener, Professor of New Testament, Eastern Seminary. Just as a rock climber's handhold enables him to master the mountain, a firm grasp on God's Word empowers us to traverse the challenging, risky slopes of life. "Grasping God's Word" helps college students, beginning seminary students, and other serious readers get a grip on the solid rock of Scripture - how to read it, how to interpret it, and how to apply it. Filling the gap between approaches that are too simple and others that are too technical, this book starts by equipping readers with general principles of interpretation, then moves on to apply those principles to specific genres and contexts.The features include: proven in classrooms across the country; hands-on exercises to guide students through the interpretation process; emphasis on real-life application; supplemented by a website for professors providing extensive teaching materials; and, an accompanying workbook (sold separately). This second edition includes an appendix on "Inspiration and Canon," numerous updates throughout the rest of the book, new exercises, and updated bibliographies. "Grasping God's Word" progresses through the following five sections: How to Read the Book - Basic Tools; Contexts - Now and Then; Meaning and Application; The Interpretive Journey - New Testament; and, The Interpretive Journey - Old Testament.
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The book is very well organized and clear. From the very beginning, we learn Duvall and Hays' about the primary method: The Interpretive Journey. Throughout the book, Duvall and Hays clearly relate new concepts and genres to the this journey. They constantly stress the importance of knowing the author's meaning (human and divine) and not making our own.
It's broken into five parts: How to Read the Book - Basic Tools; Contexts - Then and Now; Meaning and Application; The Interpretive Journey - New Testament; and The Interpretive Journey - Old Testament.
Most people look to first apply Scripture, yet without properly comprehending its original intent and audience. This book sets up 5 worthy steps needed to make accurate sense of Scripture. You will be given many needed tools for the indispensable work of studying your Scripture herein. One cannot simply read the Old Testament (poetry, narratives, dialogues, prophecies...) with our modern eyes and culture with hopes of truly making the best sense of it. We must take time and effort to be deliberate in our study!
You will find with many examples, how to determine the culture at the time of writing - the original audience and their particular issues. Next you will look for that main Theological principle in each verse, paragraph of book of the Bible. But we are still far removed from the original audience and need now to filter this information through the New Testament to see if it reiterated, translated, supported or no longer valid. Of particular importance are those doctrines that are restated by Jesus himself.
Now that we have spent the time examining particular words, cultural idioms, figures of speech and events - we can look to make a proper application for our present day and under the grace of Christ's new covenant.
A book for all those who have wondered at verses and statements found in Scripture. A book for those who wonder what parts are applicable to us today, and why certain items are included if not directly pertinent.
The Bible must be studied, and studied again - not simply read as you would some passing best-seller.
This is a good beginners guide to help you start out right. This isn't an end all be all book but paired with additional resources - this will help. I'll save you the money - if you are a lay student and doing this on your own time no need to buy the workbook. I found all the workbook handouts were at the end of each chapter as "homework".
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