Interpretation A foundational handbook that will help the reader interpret and understand God’s Word is Better Bible Study (Regal) by A. Berkeley Mickelsen and Alvera Mickelsen, a husband-and-wife team. Although the book was written at an elementary level and with an eye to the person who has done very little serious Bible study, one would be hard pressed to think of a better introduction to the subject. Why are there so many translations of the Bible? How are we to interpret the use of figurative language in Scripture? What are the chief characteristics of prophecy? poetry? parables? And how should these various types be interpreted? What is “typology” and what guidelines are there for its interpretation? These are the sorts of questions with which the Mickelsens concern themselves.
Interpreting the Bible (Hawthorn) by David Stacey is a similar work that focuses upon the theological issues raised by biblical interpretation. In The Bible Makes Sense (John Knox), Walter Brueggemann offers guidelines for reading the Bible that incorporate some of the essential elements of biblical theology; he sums up the biblical position admirably. Good News for Everyone (Word) by the distinguished linguist and translator Eugene A. Nida draws back the curtain to allow the layperson to glimpse the principles and processes that went into the translation of the Good News Bible. Nida also tells how to use the GNB to full advantage. Much of what he says is of value for users of any translation.
Of interest to the pastor and the theological student are two recent translations from German in which the authors attempt to trace the interfaces of theology and biblical criticism. Both authors are associated with the University of Tübingen, which has ...1
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