Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review of GRASPING GOD'S WORD 3rd Edition by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays

Photo Credit: Zondervan

Who the book is for: Anyone serious about digging deep into the biblical text
Rating: 5 out of 5

Christians generally know they’re supposed to read the Bible and that they’re supposed to do something about it, but the Bible doesn’t always make sense. The Bible was written to an audience that is removed from us by time and culture, so it’s easy to miss what the original author intended to communicate to the original biblical audience. Misinterpretation of the Scripture is unfortunately all too prevalent.

In GRASPING GOD’S WORD, J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays walk us through a clear and helpful process for responsibly reading, interpreting, and applying the Bible. They call it the Interpretive Journey, and it’s an imaginative and motivating description for what encountering God through the Scriptures is meant to look like. The authors outline five steps in the Interpretive Journey:
1. Grasp the text in their town. What did the text mean to the original audience?
2. Measure the width of the river to cross. What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
3. Cross the principlizing bridge. What is the theological principle in this text?
4. Consult the biblical map. How does our theological principle fit with the rest of the Bible?
5. Grasp the text in our town. How should individual Christians today live out the theological principle?

The authors spend twenty-two chapters elaborating on the steps of this journey, pointing out important concepts such as context, word studies, who is in control of meaning, and the role of the Holy Spirit in interpretation. The last two sections give us some important insights on specific genres represented in the Old and New Testaments.

The point of GRASPING GOD’S WORD is knowing God more and experiencing the transformative power of God’s Word, and this book does a great job of it. There are a lot of really great books out on how to study the Bible. This one is by far my favorite, and I recommend it for anyone who is serious about digging deep into the biblical text.

I received this book for free for review from Zondervan, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own

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