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Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible, A: Playing by the Rules [Paperback]

By Robert H. Stein (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.87" Width: 6.01" Height: 0.58"
Weight:   0.79 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 1997
Publisher   Baker Academic
Age  17
ISBN  0801021014  
EAN  9780801021015  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The author helps readers identify various types of biblical genre, understand the meaning of biblical texts, and apply that meaning to their own life situation.

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More About Robert H. Stein

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert H. Stein (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) was most recently senior professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He previously taught at Bethel Seminary. A world-renowned scholar of the Synoptic Gospels, Stein has published several books, including Luke, A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible, Studying the Synoptic Gospels, and Jesus the Messiah.

Robert H. Stein was born in 1935.

Robert H. Stein has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts   [1730  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Hermeneutics   [613  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
If You have trouble getting scripture, this will help!!!  Apr 11, 2008
A Basic Guide to Interpreting The Bible: Playing by the Rules, is great, it is basic but yet all that you need to know to interpret the scriptures. In my humble opinion it gives great instruction and all the fancy terms and then explains them. It was recommend to me by one of my pastors and he attended seminary and has the knowledge of the foreign languages so, I felt assured it would help me. Well worth the money.
Excellent and Easy to Read!  Nov 20, 2007
This book is a sane and sensible guide for how to interpret the Bible. Robert Stein reminds us that the Bible is a veritable library of literary genres, and that we must learn to play by the rules of each genre. For example, the book of Proverbs is a type of wisdom literature, and that these words are general observations and aphorisms garnered from years of experience and godly living, and that they are not to be pressed as having to be true in every single circumstance.

Stein also points out that the Bible has a lot of narrative, and that there are key expressions at the beginning of narratival books which tip us off as to the author's intent. For example, Mark 1:1 says "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Therefore, each story in the gospel must be seen in this light, that Mark is trying to tell us something about Christ.

Stein also cautions us not to interpret the poetic and figurative language of the Bible too literally. For example, Exodus 15 is a poetic description of what happened in Exodus 14, and is not meant to be pressed too far.

And when Isaiah prophecies in Isaiah 13:10 that "The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light, and that the rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light," he is employing commonly used figurative language to describe divine judgment upon Babylon and the world of that time.

In an important chapter, Stein contends that there are many instances of hyperbole (exaggeration) in the Bible, like when Jesus says "Not one stone will be left on another" in Matthew 24 (there still are literal stones on the site where Herod's temple once stood), or when Jeremiah contends that everyone alike is greedy (Jeremiah 6:16), or when God promises Abraham that his descendants will outnumber the sand on the seashore.

Other divinely inspired writers in the Bible use idioms and expressions (hating your father and mother, for example, means not literal hate, it means loving them less than Jesus) that are peculiar to the particular Bible culture.

Stein is committed to the doctrine of the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible, so we should not interpret his discussions as an expression of a low view of the Bible (like the one that Marcus Borg has).

This is a great book, and should be read by lots of people.
This is where the Christian begins...  Apr 7, 2007
Robert Stein (professor of NT at Bethel Theological Seminary) explains the importance of playing by the rules of Bible interpretation to grasp the author's original intent.

One point the author makes is to establish the Rules of Interpretation. Stein breaks this into a four part teaching consisting of Hermeneutics, Vocabulary, Spiritual and Biblical, and the different Forms of Scripture. Stein lays out the roles of the Author, the Text, and the Reader. The second main point in the book is the specific rules of the individual games such as; Wisdom, Prediction, Poetry, Idioms, Hyperbole, Parables, Biblical Narrative, Epistles and Treaties, Laws, and Songs.

Another concept that is covered is the literary genre (literary form) being used by the author that governs that form. An example is the author had previously struggled with the correct meaning of the Beatitudes. Stein realizes that the Beatitudes were not addressed as "conditions for membership" rather, as blessing addressed to "as blessings pronounced upon those already within the kingdom" The author gives very convincing details as to why we should believe this interpretation.

A final important point is the Sensus Plenior (fuller meaning) of the text in chapter six. And the difficulties when this speaks about when the author willed to convey one truth, God had a different truth he willed to convey by the same vocabulary and grammar. An example of this is addressed in Isaiah 7:14 and Hosea 11:1 (Isaiah's day) which would mean a maiden (described as a virgin in the NT) would give birth to a son named Immanuel.

In conclusion, "A Basic Guide to Interpreting the BIBLE" by Robert H. Stein discusses a myriad of scriptures, putting them in the proper literary form to discover the original intention of the author. The author has presented the necessary steps needed to put the scriptures in proper context as the Biblical authors intended.

My opinion of the book is that the author has spent a great deal of time in his research, and he has a vast knowledge of scripture. Many valuable resources are utilized within the book, and the book is very well outlined from start to finish. I found the book challenging and somewhat difficult to read at times, yet it heightened my awareness to the importance of proper hermeneutics. If you are countering struggles in understanding scriptures, I highly recommend adding this book to your shelf as a valuable reference tool whether you are an apologist or lay Christian. Each chapter ends with a questionnaire to get you engaged with the concepts.

I bought this book to gave away at least 5 times  Sep 4, 2006
This book was recommended to my by faculty at a seminary. I have no theological training what so ever and desired to delve deeper into the Bible. This book was not written to explain any Biblical ideas, but rather to give the user an idea of Hermeneutics, or how we interpret the Bible. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go into more detail than a quick reading. It is great for beginners and all the terms that are used are introduced are defined in the book. There are questions at the end of each chapter which will also help you learn the material. I have bought this book for many people and will continue to do so.
Very Good and Easy to Read  Apr 19, 2005
If you're interested in learning the basics of proper Biblical hermeneutics, this is a book for you. Stein does a good job presenting the material in an easy-to-read fashion, yet writes in a very scholarly manner. The book is divided into two sections: The first section deals with the general rules of interpretation (the first four chapters); the second section deals with how to interpret proverbs, prophecies, poetry, idioms, hyperboles, parables, narratives, epistles, covenants, laws, and songs (chapters 5-13). The book is generally geared towards the average lay person or beginner seminary student. It can be used as a technical hermeneutical aid or as a tool to assist the average believer in how to read the Bible properly during Bible studies and quiet times. Stein's book is a valuable resource that should be available in every Christian bookshelf.

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