Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics
Is the Bible just a book of ancient Israelite and Christian history and practices to be read? Or are we engaging in a more interactive practice when we study God's word? Jeannine K. Brown believes that communication is at the...
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Is the Bible just a book of ancient Israelite and Christian history and practices to be read? Or are we engaging in a more interactive practice when we study God's word? Jeannine K. Brown believes that communication is at the heart of what we do when we open the Bible, that we are actively engaging God in a conversation that can be life changing. By learning about how Scripture communicates, modern readers can extract much more meaning out of the text than they could if simply reading the Bible as though it was a list of rules or a collection of stories. In Scripture as Communication, Brown offers professors, students, church leaders, and laity a basic guide to the theory and practice of biblical interpretation, helping them understand our engagement with Scriptures as primarily a communicative act.
"Brown has written an excellent text for hermeneutics classes that is clear and well organized and reveals a superb mastery of the material. Understanding texts as a form of communication rather than as art is a helpful correction to recent trends in interpretation."--Robert H. Stein, senior professor of New Testament interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary"In an engaging and conversational style, Jeannine Brown addresses the complexities of hermeneutics and explains how an understanding of those complexities can help readers develop a healthy hermeneutical self-consciousness as they read Scripture, God''s communicative act. She defines important terms and addresses major hermeneutical theories, providing a realistic appraisal of hermeneutical challenges while also offering positive, practical guidelines. Above all, Brown reminds us that reading Scripture is learning to discern a communicative act initiated by God. Such a hermeneutical journey is about treating Scripture as an encounter with a friend, not as a code to be broken. Brown stresses, therefore, what is often lost in similar treatments: that authentic hermeneutical inquiry is not only grounded in faith but also moves us toward a deepening of that faith."--Peter Enns, professor of Old Testament and biblical hermeneutics, Westminster Theological Seminary"Jeannine Brown has proven herself to be a reliable guide for those committed to serious engagement with Christian Scripture. Her ''communicative act'' model prioritizes the biblical text without undermining the importance of either authors or readers. Complex issues are clearly explained. Controversial issues receive fair-minded treatment. Talk about interpretation is coupled with examples of interpretation. Scripture as Communication will be attractive both to students beginning the journey of biblical interpretation and to those already well on the way."--Joel B. Green, professor of New Testament interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary"This book contributes substantially to the current conversation within Christianity on interpretation theories and biblical hermeneutics. Jeannine Brown draws from speech-act theory, relevance theory, literary theory, and narrative theology to offer a balanced approach, which she terms the communication theory of interpretation. By grounding her communicative model in the incarnation, she convincingly combines truth and interpretive method, and she does so with impressive clarity and ease. Without any loss of depth, Brown clarifies complex ideas with the help of excellent illustrations that make this book accessible to anyone from pastors to students to experts in the field. A significant achievement!"--Jens Zimmermann, associate professor of English, Canada Research Chair in Religion, Interpretation, and Culture, Trinity Western University"Scripture as Communication is a helpful introduction to biblical interpretation that begins in the right place--the question of the nature of the text--and stays in focus throughout. Brown''s emphasis on meaning as communicative act enables her to take the best from several models of interpretation and to do justice to author, text, and reader alike. Moreover, because it strikes a judicious balance between attending to issues and particular New Testament texts, this book combines the best of both the theoretical and the practical hermeneutical worlds."--Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College and Graduate School"After teaching biblical hermeneutics at Wheaton College (IL) for over a decade, using the same text with each successive generation of students, I switched to Brown''s new book on the topic. What a delightful choice! Well and clearly written, challenging without shooting over students'' heads, conversant with current debates in the field, and practical. She uses a communication model that ties together authors, texts, contexts, and readers. If you''re jumping into this field, Brown''s tome is the place
Jeannine K. Brown (PhD, Luther Seminary) is associate professor of New Testament and associate academic dean at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the author of The Disciples in Narrative Perspective: The Portrayal and Function of the Matthean Disciples.
- Introduction: Scripture As Communicative Act<br>part 1: Theoretical Perspectives On Scripture As Communication<br>1. Terminology And Context For Hermeneutics <br>2. A Communication Model Of Hermeneutics <br>3. Authors, Texts, Readers: Historical Movements And Reactions <br>4. Some Affirmations About Meaning From A Communication Model <br>5. Developing Textual Meaning: Implications, Effects, And Other Ways Of Going "beyond" <br>6. An Invitation To Active Engagement: The Reader And The Bible<br>part 2: Practical Guidance For Interpreting Scripture As Communication<br>7. Genre And Communication <br>8. The Language Of The Bible <br>9. The Social World Of The Bible 	10. Literary Context, Intertextuality, And Canon <br>11. Conceptualizing Contextualization <br>12. Contextualization: Understanding Scripture Incarnationally <br>appendix A: Exegesis Guidelines Appendix B: Historical Criticism 	appendix C: Parallelism In Hebrew Poetry <br>appendix D: Epistles: Following An Author's Flow Of Thought 		appendix E: How To Go About Topical Studies<br>bibliography