The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
~Grant R. Osborne
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ISBN/ASIN : 0830812881
Manufacturer : InterVarsity Press|
Release data : May, 1997
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Comprehensive and practical.
This book is aptly subtitled, for comprehensive it is! Osborne goes the length in this book from explaining how to study the Biblical text in its original language to advice on delivery of sermons.
A basic thesis he mentions a number of times throughout the book is that the goal of hermeneutics is not the commentary but the sermon. This textbook is very detailed and yet practical: almost everything he writes is aimed at how to write a relevant sermon for a congregation today.
Part one deals with General Hermeneutics. Here he addresses matters of context, grammar, semantics, syntax, and historical and cultural backgrounds.
In part two Osborne discusses extensively the different genre of the Bible which he divides as narrative, poetry, wisdom, prophecy, apocalyptic, parable, and epistle. A preacher will do well to consult the different chapters when preaching on a text of a particular genre.
In Part 3, the author deals with Applied Hermeneutics. He writes about the place of Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology in the interpretation of Scripture. The second to last chapter is about contextualization-showing a congregation today how the text is relevant for them. The book comes together in the last chapter, "The Sermon," in which Osborne gives both theoretical and practical instruction in preparing the sermon and preaching.
Osborne promotes what is often called the textual-thematic (also known as textual- reconstructive or expository) sermon. He does not, however, totally reject the topical sermon.
This is a very good book. It would serve well as a textbook for a seminary course on hermeneutics. Considering its size (500 pages of dense type), a minister in a busy pastorate might be a bit intimidated to take it on. But then, that's what sabbaticals are for!
Worthwhile for all interested in theological study
This is a text that I used while completing my graduate degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. This is a holistic study of hermeneutics, with a nice balance of research from a variety of scholars. There are the usual suspects: Dunn, Childs,Fee, and Goldingay...but there is a fresh cast of characters: Fishbane, Crossan (seems like a stretch), Heibert, and many others. Osborne provides a fresh, thorough, and readable tome (it tops out over 400 pages) of the science and art of hermeneutics, without eliminating the spiritual aspect of exegesis. This study does assume that the reader has a background in Hebrew and Greek, though anyone that has not had languages, can tackle this by skipping a couple of chapters or skimming them for content. Having Greek and Hebrew under your belt will be an advantage, in that, there are some key ideas with examples that are very illuminating. There is a general assumption that hermeneutics are open to any interpretation or approach. Osborne dispels the idea without being dogmatic in regard to the idea of "theologies", which are an actuality. Systematic theologies are the outcome of exegesis, whereas, the opposite direction is where we get the misnomer of various hermeneutics. I would highly recommend this to seminary students, pastors (as a refresher), and anyone that wants to strip the exclusivist veneer off of theological study. Ministry belongs to the people of God - sound biblical study only better equips those who desire excellence in doing so. There are a couple appendices, which are useful to understanding arguments regarding "author's intent" and our ability to move toward a common understanding. Enjoy.
This book should be a guide book for all Christian
This is the book for pastor, layman, student, college student or any Christian want to know the biblical truth, the often words "bible speak". I have many "how to" books on intepretation but overall to me this is most practical how-to that when I put it in practice; simply "It work". When I go to theology SWC school, so often my professor use it's methods for our assignments; eventhough he not use that book, the reason it: "too many pages for a semester". I highly recommended for anyone love God and His Living Word - Word of Life...I John 1