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Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  69 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Five experts in biblical hermeneutics gather here to state and defend their approach to the discipline. Contributors include: Craig Blomberg with the historical-critical/grammatical approach, Richard Gaffin with the redemptive-historical approach, Scott Spencer with the literary/postmodern approach, Robert Wall with the canonical approach and Merold Westphal with the philo ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 20th 2012 by IVP Academic
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Brooks Robinson
Jan 27, 2016 Brooks Robinson rated it really liked it
You have to have the right sort of expectations for multi-view books like this. Going into great detail about a particular view is impossible, especially given the expectation that a view must distinguish itself from the other views, while also critiquing the other views. Thus, one should not expect a one source introductory text. Rather this is a text best used alongside other introductory materials. One major critique I would give is its lack of diversity. What would it look like to have a non ...more
Don Henrikson
Mar 06, 2015 Don Henrikson rated it liked it
I read this as an assignment. The book is a helpful book for the reader (like me) who wishes to gain some familiarity with some of the various hermeneutic approaches to the interpretation of Scripture. The authors each explain their position and then apply it to Matthew 2:13-15, with one exception. The writer on Philosophical/Theological Hermeneutics described his hermeneutic to be detached from interpretive rules and thus did not tackle the passage. The response were perhaps the most interestin ...more
Todd Miles
Oct 08, 2012 Todd Miles rated it liked it
Shelves: hermeneutics
This five views book provides a valuable summmary of the different hermeneutical options that are taught and employed in the church and academy. All of the authors fall somewhere on the evangelical spectrum. Each essay is helpful in communicating the motivations and core commitments of each of the hermeneutics espoused. Though I found myself in strongest agreement with Gaffin's redemptive historical approach and to a slightly lesser degree Blomberg's historical-critical/grammatical approach (his ...more
Craig Hurst
Aug 27, 2012 Craig Hurst rated it really liked it
Shelves: hermeneutics
While the general definition of hermeneutics as the art and science of biblical interpretation may be given a casual head nod in the affirmative by most interpreters, it should not be assumed that those doing so agree on the mechanics of the of the art and science of hermeneutics. That is, there is general agreement that hermeneutics has an art and science to it but not what they look like in practice. So while many may look to hermeneutics to provide guidance and constraints for responsible bib ...more
Nate Claiborne
Nov 25, 2012 Nate Claiborne rated it really liked it
If I were to take a stand on the spectrum after reading this book, I would probably include elements of each contributor. I was trained in Blomberg's method, but like him, see the need for theological insights in the interpretive process. I would probably most strongly combine Blomberg and Gaffin then, with a sprinkling of Westphal. I'm not crazy about Spencer's postmodern literary approach, but I like some of his insights. I think some literary sensibilities would compliment a Blomberg/Gaffin a ...more
Guillaume Bourin
Dec 18, 2014 Guillaume Bourin rated it really liked it
I particularly appreciate Richard Gaffin's critique of Blomberg's critical-historical view. Very helpful for me to refine my own position.
Critical-historical tools, however, should be used in light of the history of redemption.
Luke Todd
May 29, 2014 Luke Todd rated it liked it
Decent book, but would have enjoyed seeing 5 views that had more in common. The fifth view wasn't even a view, but a helpful overview of the philosophy of interpretation.
Adam Shields
Nov 13, 2012 Adam Shields rated it liked it
Short review: This is a book that is in the uncomfortable middle of being too technical and academic for the casual reader and not focused and specific enough for the academic. I like that each of the five perspectives were asked to work through a specific portion of scripture, which is helpful. Overall it is not a bad book, just not clear who the intended audience really is.

My full review is on my blog at
Dec 19, 2014 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A roller coaster read

This book is a roller coaster read, as each writer is assigned a view and asked to write on it.
Some are very good and clear, sadly some write to impress themselves using word that Dictionaries will tell us 1in a million times this word might be used this way.
If you never have to read this book then spend you time reading something more exciting
Oct 15, 2013 Chuck rated it really liked it
Incredibly helpful in sorting out these various views. Helpful chapters and then critiques. Fair and yet honest criticism of each other's views. Interesting illustration from Matthew 2 that undergirds and illustrates the principles of each approach.

I found this clarifying in a variety of ways--especially helpful to see the views laid side by side.

Worth the time to read.
May 14, 2012 Carrie rated it really liked it
Excellent source to revealing the world behind, of and in front of the text. It is wonderful to witness the collaborative spirit of biblical scholars and yet would have hoped they used a different primary text that Hosea 11:1Extremely lacking more women voices although Merold Westphal includes Barbara Green and Athalya Brenner. Thank you, Merold!
Mar 13, 2016 Vanjr rated it really liked it
Shelves: christan
A very important book that looks at how we read and understand the Bible from 5 evangelical viewpoints. All five authors bring up important points that should be considered and used. I find it quite interesting that most churches spend little to no time on this important topic. Every church should spend a significant amount of time on this.
Jun 23, 2012 Danny rated it liked it
A good book written by a great list of scholars. I think every perspective can and should be utilized, although Westphal’s is more second-order (hermenetuics) while the other contributions are more first order (exegesis).
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Stanley E. Porter (PhD, University of Sheffield) is president, dean, and professor of New Testament, and Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Wolrdview at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. He has authored or edited dozens of books, including How We Got the New Testament and Fundamentals of New Testament Greek.
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