03 One Bible Many Readings

OFB, 32–51

Overview of chapter three

This chapter addresses a number of issues related to the question of hermeneutics, or biblical interpretation:
  • The first section (pp. 32–35) surveys a number of different ways in which the Bible is read: apologetic, devotional, doctrinal, liturgical, historical, and aesthetic.
  • The next section (pp. 35–38) looks at some of the major barriers we encounter when reading the Bible: time, location, language, and beliefs.
  • The major section (pp. 38–50) outlines the major hermeneutical methods used in biblical interpretation, grouping them into the "three worlds of the Bible": 
    • the world behind the text, 
    • the world within the text, and 
    • the world in front of the text.
  • The concluding cameo essay (pp. 50–51) considers the brief word picture of a "scribe trained for God's empire" in Matt 13:52.


Web links of particular relevance to this chapter include:




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