If you’re like me then chances are you’ve not gotten into the discipline of Hermeneutics or Biblical Interpretation. For the Love of God’s Word An Introduction to Biblical Interpretation is an excellent place to start when diving into this deep well of knowledge. It introduces the subject in a manner that is less technical than the unabridged version of the same volume, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation, while at the same time continuing to develop the subject so that the reader walks away from this volume with an expanded knowledge of the scriptures.
The thing that most stuck out to me in this volume wasn’t the scaled down language or the text-book like format, but the fact that this was written with the local Church in mind. Though not surprising, I’ve come to expect that from Kostenberger, it’s nice to see that worked out in a volume of this nature. The authors themselves understand this facet of hermeneutics right from the start in saying, “Biblical interpretation is not an individualistic enterprise. Rather, it takes place in the community of believers, and the failure or success of the interpretive task affects not merely the interpreter but other believers as well.”
This volume is laid out in three neat sections. Section One sets the Historical-Cultural background for the literature, giving us a glimpse of context in which we received this Word. Section Two, the most lengthy section, deals with the compilation, types, and linguistics of the biblical texts. Section Three is where the authors do their best writing. Not that the previous sections aren’t extremely helpful, but the application helps me to draw a straight line, as it were, through the text. Here they address the application of the texts to our lives and not only that but they also involve a section on creating a biblically rich theology from Scripture.
At the end of each chapter they include for the reader a “Guidelines” section which should be well heeded by the reader. They also include Key Words, Assignments (hence the text-book application), and Key Resources for those who want to dive into a more specialist treatment of special aspects of God’s revelation to his people. These aspects at the end of each section really help the reader to practice and apply the material they’ve just digested, which I appreciate myself.
If you’re looking for a great introductory text for a small study group or are just looking to grow in your knowledge, and I may add love of, God’s word then you will definitely benefit from a book like this. For the Love of God’s Word does exactly what it claims to, it brings the reader and those in his / her circles into a greater love for the bible. This volume is rich with worshipful tones even as the technical language is employed page after page.
Stenberger, Andreas J., and Patterson, Richard D. For the Love of God’s Word An Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Abridged and Revised ed. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2015. 448. Print.