"Reading the Bible" is aimed at students coming to the study of the Bible for the first time. It aims to guide the reader through the various methods of biblical interpretation and to show how these methods can be applied. Divided into three parts, the first introduces the reader to the key issues and terminology of biblical interpretation. The second part covers the history of biblical interpretation, including Jewish and Greek influences, the Early Church, the Middle Ages, the transition to modernity, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, Schleiermacher, historical criticism, the history of religions, school, and late 20th-century biblical interpretation. The third, core part of the book covers 12 methods of biblical interpretation (including allegorical interpretation, narrative criticism, psychological interpretation, structuralist interpretation, liberation theology, feminist theology, and poststructuralist and postmodernist interpretations). The author assesses the strengths and weaknesses and then applies each method to an Old Testament and a New Testament text.
By applying each method to the same two texts, the reader should be able to see the different readings to which the various methods of interpretation give rise. This practical, "interpretation in action", and the pitch of the book, which assumes no prior knowledge of the subject, should make this an ideal text for those coming to the subject for the first time.show more