- Paperback: 162 pages
- Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st ed edition (4 Jun. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0664227511
- ISBN-13: 978-0664227517
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 577,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Short Introduction to Hermeneutics Paperback – 4 Jun 2004
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"An excellent primer. Based on solid scholarship and balanced judgment, written in a clear, easily accessible style, this textbook offers a superb introduction to complex issues of interpretation all the way from biblical and rabbinic texts to post-modern texts, religious as well as others. Jasper has put every teacher in debt--as well as every reader!"
About the Author
David Jasper is Professor in Literature and Theology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He is coeditor of Religion and Literature and coauthor of The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Hermeneutics is not a term many use in daily parlance but is useful in describing our understanding of the nature of texts and how we interpret and use them especially with respect to the Bible. David Jasper, in this book, provides a wealth of information on the evolution of scriptural interpretation throughout history. This includes the different styles of interpretation (literal, allegorical), and the different approaches that have been taken throughout the early church to understand the scriptures.
David reflects on the influence different cultures have had on how we understand the scriptures including the biases these cultures such as Egyptian, philosophy influenced versus traditional Jewish Hebrew based cultures. The author also brings to bear some of the great minds that have influenced ancient text, biblical and classical literature interpretation. Since some of the references David Jasper uses may not be widely known to those being introduced to Hermeneutics, this book can be a bit intimidating and weighted in reading.
In this book, the author sets out to present his thoughts in an upfront and honest way including reflecting on many of the interpretive issues that arise when studying the Bible. He does not conceal his conclusions nor does he attempt to reflect an overtly spiritual or orthodox disposition. The author is clear at the beginning of the book: the book does not provide all of the answers. The book does however reflect the different ranges of discipline including historical, literary, philosophy, theology and more and the challenges and influences each discipline brings into studying ancient and sacred texts. However, the author does have a heavy bias towards German influencers.
The book is divided into 7 chapters. Each chapter ends with a summary of the major themes of the chapter and a section dedicated to activities and questions to reinforce the chapter’s themes. The format of the book chapters start with a foundational introduction on Hermeneutics, faith and suspicion when reading sacred texts, reading and writing and the hermeneutic circle.
This book is a good first start.
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