Part 2 of FAQs: Books on Biblical Interpretation

Part two on FAQs of a Theologian: Answering “What are some good books (and why) that can help me get started in biblical hermeneutics?”
This post focuses on the books part of the question.
From Dr. Chris Spinks

After all of this let me list a few good books that deal with hermeneutics. These are books that consider these topics as they relate to a reading of the sacred texts of Christianity, the Bible, and so in this broad way they are about biblical and/or theological hermeneutics. In fact, some of them have those very titles.

I have begun a bibliography of helpful resources. That list is heavier on the exegesis and interpretation part because it was started about the time I was working on my syllabus for an exegetical method class, which does not include a lot of discussion about the “why” questions. For a list of good books that deal with the “how” (interpretation) and “what” (exegesis) discussions see that bibliography. Books on hermeneutics are by nature more philosophical and abstract than those on interpretation and exegesis. A good place to start to get into this heady discussion is with shorter articles in good biblical and/or theological dictionaries. See especially something like The Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible . For a readable and short history and discussion of the larger hermeneutical issues see:

Anthony Thiselton is no doubt the preeminent Christian hermeneut. He is not always easy to read but he is good.

I would also recommend two books by Kevin Vanhoozer:

And, two by Francis Watson:

There are lots of books with some form of “Hermeneutics” in the title. Many of them, I think, are more about the questions I place in the discussion of interpretation and exegesis than they are about the “why” question of hermeneutics. So take care to determine what it is the books are actually discussing. In the end to “get started in biblical hermeneutics” is really entering into an ongoing conversation about reading sacred texts. A few more recommendations for learning about that conversation:

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Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

2 thoughts on “Part 2 of FAQs: Books on Biblical Interpretation”

  1. Thanks Wess. I hope this is a helpful answer to your reader’s question. It was fun whether it is helpful or not. Sorry it was so long. Thanks for publishing the whole thing!

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