The `giants' are previous interpreters over 2000 years but the intention is not to suggest that they were bigger or better than we are. The title comes from a quotation from Bernard of Chartres suggesting that if we see `more and further' than our predecessors it is only `because we are raised up on their giant size'. We stand on their shoulders and we need to recognise and appreciate our inheritance. The result is not so much a book on how to read the Bible as how to evaluate our own readings in the light of their contributions. Wisely we are told to `keep our distance' -- temporal (the Bible is a product of a time very different from our own), cultural (our daily life and customs are so different from those of the biblical writers and their audiences) and linguistic (the Bible languages are quite different from ours). Earlier ways of reading the Bible are explained (from the early church to the mystics, the reformers and scientific scholarship), and we are encouraged to recognise and practice different levels of reading ourselves (devotional, literary, and the nuts and bolts of scholarship). Examples abound. Parris is a teacher with the teacher's art whose writing comes through as if he were present, and if occasionally one feels he is stating the trite and the obvious and the first person singular pronoun is too dominant it is a small price to pay for so much useful information for preachers, teachers and less professional Bible readers.
However Bible based we try to be (solar Scriptura as Luther would say) church tradition effects the way we read biblical passages. This book's answer is to be aware of these traditions and notice their influence on us as we look at the Bible. If we don't do this we can end up just skim reading scripture looking for bits we had not noticed before. It is clearly written and easy to read with lots of clear examples - yet has helped me read the Bible in a much deeper way. It would be a good book for a theology reading group, or even a home group.