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Knowing Scripture Hardcover – Jan 1977

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Intervarsity Press (Jan. 1977)
  • ISBN-10: 0877848734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877848738
  • Package Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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By A Customer on 22 May 1999
Format: Paperback
"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." [Acts 17:11] This book provides you with the tools to have a clear understanding of the treasures of the Bible and guard against the many heresies that are pushing at us.
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Format: Paperback
I found this little volume a tremendous help in properly interpeting the Bible. Sproul takes you through a point-by-point process of the art and science of hermenutics. Like a skillful surgeon Sproul disects the Word and demonstrates the profound wealth of spirtual nuggets lying under the surface of the text. After digesting the book I felt like I feel through the thin ice of the surface of the text into the deep abyss of Biblical truth. If your a Biblical student you will gain a greater understanding of the nuances, and idioms of Biblical history.
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Format: Paperback
R.C. Sproul colorfully presents some relatively simple yet essential guildelines for reading the Bible. This book discusses what the Protestant ideal of "individual interpretation" means, and how one should go about building an appropriate view of dissecting Scripture. Two thumbs up for this sound analysis of the subject matter!
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By J Grainger VINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
The contents page of this book suggest an extremely interesting framework for addressing the question of how the Bible should be read. However, I did find Sproul's arguments both confused and confusing. For example, he criticizes the "Medieval Quadriga' method (p54) where (he says) each passage is examined for four meanings: literal, morral, allegorical and anagogical. He argues that each passage has four different meanings related to each of these categories, which he calls bizarre as he argues that the Bible should only be interpreted according to it's literal sense. What is bizarre is that he should believe this.

The Quadriga, in reality, means that all biblical passages have at least the literal intended meaning but some may have one or more spiritual meanings as well. That Sproul does not follow his own recommendation to interpret the Bible solely in the literal sense is highlighted on p 97 where he explicitly states 'I avoid allegorizing of the parables EXCEPT where the New Tstament clearly indicates an allegorical meaning - so he accepts at least part of the Quadriga methodology.

Interestingly (although confusingly) immediately after criticizing the Quadriga he relates a tale of a professor who gave his students a verse of the NT to read and to write down 50 things they learned from the verse. The following day when the work was handed in he asked for a further 50 from the same passage. Presumably they were able to do this without resorting to moral, allegorical or anagogical meanings? It seems quite impossible that they could. He justifies this by saying Luther rejected multiple meanings to bibilical passages but did not restrict them to a 'single sense' whatever that might mean.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 91 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary Tool for Any Serious Student of the Bible 12 Aug. 2016
By Weston Eldridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Toward the beginning of college I was seeking guidance on how to approach studying Scripture. How should I approach some of those weird, highly imaginative passages in Ezekiel, Daniel or Revelation? Or what do I do about apparent contradictions in the Bible? Better yet, I wanted to know what I believe, why I believe it so that I might be able to defend my hope in our Lord Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). Which, by the way, I believe one of the biggest and most troubling deficits in the church right now is our lack of knowledge of Scripture and being able to back up what we believe with God’s Word. Thoughts like these were buzzing through my mind, and I needed some mature, wise counsel to approach my personal study of Scripture. So I started searching around online for a book to help guide me in this, and I came across a highly rated and quite popular book titled Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul. This book has been in publication since 1977, and it apparently is still selling, a lot. After reading it, I realized why.
This was my very first book by my now favorite author (and I’ll be honest, role model), R.C. Sproul. I was struck by how lucid and yet penetrating his writing was, since after all, he is one of the most prolific and renown theologians of our time. He has such a gift of presenting biblical ideas in extraordinarily clear language. This is a huge hallmark of this book.

One massive issue today in Christian circles is how frequently people find themselves disagreeing about what Scripture says or means or even how we should apply it to our lives. And as Sproul so incisively points out, “the Bible remains an enigma capable of vastly different interpretations.” “Is there any way to escape this confusion?” is one of the foundational questions he lays in writing this book. He also strives to provide guidance when approaching these conflicting viewpoints. These, however, are by no means the only issues this book deals with. For the book doesn’t mainly deal with key issues, but it is a launching-tool, if you will, for serious students of God’s word.

Sproul offers tremendous guidance on the science of interpretation, or what is often called, hermeneutics. A faithful, God-fearing approach to Scripture is an absolute requisite for anyone studying God’s word. He expounds on and also appeals many problems we face today, and offers solutions to them, like the ones I mentioned in the first paragraph. One of the most helpful tools, I found, was the analogy of faith. This is pretty much the corner stone of post-Reformation bible study. This rule is the vanguard of hermeneutics, or interpretation. The analogy of faith means, simply put, that Scripture is to interpret Scripture. “These means, quite simply, that no part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture,” writes Sproul. This concept is rooted in the confidence of the inspiration of Scripture, it being the inerrant, infallible Word of God. Sproul has a cogent and faithful assertion about this: “Since it is assumed that God would never contradict himself, it is thought slanderous to the Holy Spirit to choose an alternate interpretation that unnecessarily brings the Bible in conflict with itself.” He goes into some detail in how to deal with passages that seem contradictory but are actually paradoxical.

Sproul offers more insight and guidance on private interpretation. He goes on to explain how to approach the Bible literally, that is, how it was written, i.e. as a poem, narrative, analogy, symbol, type, etc. He also shows the biblical critique of the Medieval Quadriga, but expounds on the singular meaning of a passage of scripture, but explains how it can have a sundry of applications. He dedicates an entire part of the book full of listed rules on how to read and interpret the Bible. Any good student of Scripture would find this tremendously helpful.

This small, 145 page book is a great book to pick up if you crave to learn more about Scripture, if you need guidance in how to interpret certain passage, or if you aren’t entirely sure how to sit down and study the Bible and have a fruitful devotional time. I highly recommend this book. I hope you will contemplate buying this book, because I have recognized the import of studying God’s word so that we might not only glorify God in it, or worship him, and become more satisfied in him. But that we might “honor Christ the Lord…being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you [and to] do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Resource 6 Nov. 2016
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book on how to read/study your Bible. This is a valuable resource to address an skill that seems widely missing in todays church. Too many of us are content to let someone else read and study and then tell us what the Scripture means.

Sproul does point out the church needs Pastors and teachers to expound Gods word for the church. They have been gifted and trained for this. Still this does not negate our responsibility to search the Scriptures ourselves as we seek to build a first hand relationship with Jesus Christ .

Sproul covers all the necessary areas including the motivation to study and the challenge to combat our own laziness for a fruit that lasts. He also covers the various types of writings in Scripture and the need to distinguish and interpret accordingly.

The book closes with a very helpful chapter explaining and recommending the various types of tools (both in print and digital) available for every skill and budget.

For those needing a positive motivation to study the Scriptures and the basic tools needed to get started, this book is a valuable resource
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing resource 13 Jan. 2016
By Richard Ries - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both comprehensive and concise, an amazingly useful and non-biased guide to the subject of knowing Scripture. I got plenty of new insights even though I've been studying Scripture for more than 15 years, yet the material is presented so well that I also got a copy as a gift for a friend who will be reading the Bible for the first time. This updated second edition (2009) contains tons of relevant information not available in the first edition (1977); it seems more of a total rewrite than merely an updated edition. The editor in me flinches when I see errors (a couple of uses of "insure" when the correct word would be "ensure," as on p. 129, and the use of "addition" instead of "edition" on p. 137), but I'm not to cast the first stone when it comes to homophones problems. And there are times it seems Sprouls could make his point more clearly. But overall this is more knowledge presented more accessibly than one could image could be packed into 152 pages.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Hermaneutics 2 Nov. 2015
By Robert E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
R C Sproul is hard to top on any biblical topic. This little book has a wealth of careful thought
on the interpretation of Scripture and confronts contemporary and historical departures from
orthodoxy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!! 13 May 2017
By Gerardo Luis Rivera - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excelent book, especially the chapter on culture and the bible, very interesting.
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