Reading and Understanding the Bible

Reading and Understanding the Bible

4.12 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 10-13 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


With his usual verve and reader-friendly style, Ben Witherington III brings us a fresh and distinctive guide to interpreting the Bible. Reading and Understanding the Bible provides something that no similar textbook does-it works carefully through all the different genres of literature in the Bible and explains how to interpret each within its proper context. Reading and Understanding the Bible deals with the social and literary character of the Bible, teaching students how to read the Bible with eyes open to the differences between the modern world and ancient biblical cultures. It explains how ancient societies worked, how documents were created, who preserved them and why, the patriarchal nature of all ancient cultures, and, most importantly, how these cultural characteristics ought to affect our reading of the Bible. In the second half of the book, Witherington illustrates the hermeneutical rules usually applied to the Bible with core samples of contextual interpretation. Reading and Understanding the Bible provides a wealth of information in an engaging style, with helpful pictures, charts, and maps to keep the visual learner on task.
The book is ideal for courses on Biblical Interpretation, Introduction to the Bible, and Hermeneutics.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 170.18 x 243.84 x 27.94mm | 480g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199340579
  • 9780199340576
  • 600,253

Table of contents

Abbreviations ; Transliterations ; Preface ; An Invitation to Explore the Bible ; Part One: Surveying the Terrain, Studying the Map ; Chapter One: 'Let the Reader Understand' ; Chapter Two: The Grand Narrative of the Bible ; Chapter Three: The History in the Bible ; Chapter Four: On Figuring out What's Figurative, and on Learning about the Letter of the Law ; Chapter Five: Of Parables, Promises and Prophecies ; Chapter Six: The Oral and Rhetorical Character of the Ancient Biblical World ; Chapter Seven: Social Realities and Cultural Scripts in Bible Times ; Chapter Eight: The Theological Structures of the Gospels ; Part Two: Unearthing the Treasure ; Chapter Nine: The Basic Rules of the Road-Hermeneutics ; Chapter Ten: Digging Deeper-Historical Narrative ; Chapter Eleven: Digging Deeper-The Psalms ; Chapter Twelve: Digging Deeper-Isaiah ; Chapter Thirteen: Digging Deeper-The Prophecy and Parables of Jesus ; Chapter Fourteen: Digging Deeper-Paul-His Reflections on Hymn and Him ; Chapter Fifteen: Next Steps ; Chapter Sixteen: Did the Canon Misfire? The Bible's Story ; Epilogue: Found in Translation ; Bibliography
show more

Review quote

"Reading and Understanding the Bible is an up-to-date introduction to biblical interpretation that takes seriously both the more recent advances and ideas in hermeneutics and the historical and cultural context of the biblical writings themselves."--Jon Mark Robertson, Multnomah Biblical Seminary
"Witherington writes from the perspective of a believer who is convinced that God speaks through the Scripture, that the Scripture is normative for us, that we need to get at the intended meaning of the text, and that we do that through grappling with the contexts."--Steve Rodeheaver, Point Loma Nazarene University
"Witherington's writing style is lucid and approachable for undergraduate students."--David Howle, Wayland Baptist University
"This book will be a useful tool for many introductory courses in scriptural interpretation."-- Kenny Edward Hilliard III, The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
show more

About Witherington III

Ben Witherington III is Amos Professor of the New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and also serves on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. One of the world's top evangelical scholars, he has written more than forty books and is also a popular lecturer. Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, he has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.
show more

Rating details

17 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 24% (4)
4 65% (11)
3 12% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X