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Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  8 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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Todd Miles
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
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
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
Luke Todd
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
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
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.
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!
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.
More about Stanley E. Porter...
Idioms of the Greek New Testament How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation Fundamentals of New Testament Greek Verbal Aspect In The Greek Of The New Testament: With Reference To Tense And Mood Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Interpretive Theory

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