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Contemporary Biblical Interpretation for Preaching [Paperback]

By Ronald J. Allen (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.51 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 1984
Publisher   Judson Press
ISBN  0817010025  
EAN  9780817010027  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The pressures of today's church life with its added demands on the minister's time often leave few hours for sermon preparation or for searching deeply into a biblical text. To overcome this obstacle, Allen suggests a disciplined, informed approach that utilizes the insights of critical exegesis but that is simple enough to be practiced weekly. Each chapter offers a clear, simplified explanation of one form of biblical interpretation. Allen discusses the pertinence of the discipline to preaching, formulates key questions from its viewpoint, illustrates with a case study how the discipline may inform preaching, and provides suggestions for further reading. His methods open the door to fresh biblical interpretations that will speak forcefully to the vital concerns of the congregation. Topics covered include: Historical background: how to get the feel of the world in which the text came to life and to which it speaks. Word studies: how to infuse flesh-and-blood meaning into ancient biblical texts. Redaction criticism: ways in which the meaning of an individual text can shed light on the whole work. Structuralism: how this discipline can enlarge understanding as it moves both preacher and congregation from one thought to another. Sociological exegesis: its significance in relating the sermon to different social perspectives. Liberation theology: how it can help preachers to focus on previously unnoticed dimensions of the biblical text. Interpreting a biblical text as a work of art. Canonical criticism: its contemporary significance. Hermeneutics: how to make the transition from ancient to contemporary meaning.

Publishers Description
A timesaving system of sermon preparation using critical exegesis in a simplified manner to develop fresh biblical interpretations each week.

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More About Ronald J. Allen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ronald J. Allen is Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He is author of many books, including Patterns of Preaching and Interpreting the Gospel, and coauthor of One Gospel, Many Ears and Listening to Listeners, all from Chalice Press.

Ronald J. Allen currently resides in the state of Indiana. Ronald J. Allen was born in 1949.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching   [1493  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General   [10297  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Hermeneutics   [613  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Useful and enlightening  Aug 24, 2003
In this text, Ron Allen once again weaves his extensive preaching knowledge and skill together with him Bible knowledge and expertise. A professor of both homiletics and New Testament, he is ideally suited to teach on the subject of appropriate and useful Biblical interpretation for the task of preaching.

Allen addresses things from the standpoint of modern scholarship in the Bible, and in particular historical-critical interpretative frameworks. 'Strictly speaking, many of the exegetical disciplines are descriptive and not theological.' In saying this, Allen puts forth a thesis that is broad-based - this is a text that can be useful to people of differing theological persuasions conservative and liberal. Likewise, Allen does not shy away from the shortcomings or controversies of the historical-critical enterprise, or any other academic endeavour with regard to Biblical scholarship. A book from Allen's early days of teachings, it shows (when taken with his later scholarship, which is extensive) how remarkably consistent his work has been.

The topics discussed in this book include historical background, form criticism, redaction criticism, structuralism, sociological exegesis, and canonical criticism. These ideas will be familiar to students and graduates of seminaries, Bible colleges, and schools of religion, and no doubt most will already have a notion as to their relative value for Biblical study and interpretation. Allen takes this into account as he develops each theme. 'When a pastor settles down with a text to begin sermon preparation, he or she is seldom a tabula rasa, a blank slate,' Allen writes. In giving key questions, specific scriptural examples, and suggestions for further readings, the reader of most any slant will find useful information and guidance.

Allen devotes a special chapter to the concerns of liberation theology. Liberation theology is not a particular discipline of exegesis, but rather a broader framework of interpretation that has developed in the later half of the twentieth century that seeks to find the liberating voice of God in scripture and church action. Drawing on themes from the Hebrew scriptures and the gospels, Allen shows ways of incorporating liberation ideas into responsible biblical interpretation and preaching.

Allen also gives special attention to looking at the Bible as a work of art. This involves giving attention to feelings and intuitions about the Bible, as well as looking at literary and artistic nuances and devices in the text itself. Key questions are important here, as well as a framework for ensuring responsible answers, and not letting emotionalism cloud good judgement.

The final chapters of the text deal with issues of authority and hermeneutics - these are separate chapters, but in many ways go together as one issue no doubt influences the other in dialectical relationship. Looking at the Bible as a canon of scripture rooted in a particular historical setting, the implications of the relationship between the timeless and the time-specific become clear. Then, drawing largely on Ricoeur as well as the approach of the hermeneutic of analogy, Allen discusses the importance of meaning as well as the difficulties of finding 'true' and 'unalterable' meanings in the text, not subject to interpretation.

Allen includes a compendium of the key questions gleaned from the chapters, a section of endnotes, and an index of scriptural quotations. As a reader, I prefer footnotes to endnotes (this is often a publisher decision rather than an author decision), and I will also issue the loud call for an index (subject, author, key word and concept), which this text lacks, which makes it less useful for scholars.

Overall, this book is a fine collection of ideas and questions for students and active preachers to help develop sensitivity to the various issues involved in interpreting Biblical passages for preaching.


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