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Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation Hardcover – Apr 1 1981


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Baker Pub Group (April 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801092825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801092824
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,458,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Agent Grant Hawley on June 27 2003
Format: Paperback
Virkler has developed an excellent system of hermeneutics, and has put it together in a way that is easy to understand. I can't tell you how helpful it is to have him state what he'll cover at the beginning of the chapter, cover it, and then review at the end (similar to the way Mounce does in Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar). It makes it all so easy to grasp! This being said, I gave this book 3 stars instead of 5 because in the examples he provides, he doesn't put his own methods into practice at all! In nearly all of his examples from the Bible it is obvious that he had his exegetical outcome settled by his theology before he even looks to see what the text actually says. When this happens, your theology shapes the Bible instead of the Bible shaping your theology! It is amazing that someone that understands the principles of hermeneutics so well could exegete so poorly. But read the book and take his principles to heart, it is worth it. Just don't pay much attention to his examples.
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Format: Paperback
I took this course via correspondence with Dr. Virkler as the instructor. This is a superb book with very sound Bible study techniques. It teaches the importance of literal translation- meaning: finding the author's intended meaning. The process he teaches is flexible and applies to all types of reading, although it is tailored to the study of God's Word. The book teaches us to let go of our predisposed ideas if they conflict with what is found in Scripture. He teaches all the tools to finding the information needed to get to the true meaning of Scripture. If we all followed these principles, the divisions between Christians would be all-but-nonexistent.
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Format: Paperback
Verkler's goal in this work was essential to provide christian laety with a volume on Biblical interpretation that was useful for not only understanding but implemeting the text of scripture. I feel that he has met his goal. Verkler addresses the issues that are typically involved in hermeneutics; history of Biblical interpretation, lexical/syntactical elements, theological models, etc. But he makes it clear that application of scripture is ultimately the purpose of hermeneutics and ultimately his goal in this work. This is a very easy to understand, basic treatment of hermeneutics that will aid in further study. I would recommend this work to anyone who does not wish to, in the words of Matt Damon in 'Good Will Hunting', "...drop a hundred fifty grand on an education you could've gotten in buck fifty in late fees at the local library".
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Format: Paperback
Virkler's work "Hermeneutics," is widely acknowledged in the Evangelical realm as THE guidebook for novice exegetes. The book makes very strong points and gives adequate guidelines to help laypersons and up and coming pastors/theologians make accurate exegesis in study and homily.
Virkler's step-by-step process for interpreting, as he puts it, the "original intent" of the author of a biblical passage, is very simple to follow and actually apply. For example, the book comes with several "case studies" which may aid the student in conducting proper exegesis of given passages. Virkler also draws upon the biblical text to illustrate his points, which helps the student conceptualize the intended principle.
Virkler's recommendations for additional books and study materials I found inestimable; he even devotes an entire appendix to further studies in "sensus plenior" (dual authorship/intent), which seems to be one of his pet topics.
I do have some reservations about the book, however. First, Virkler does not offer answers to his case study (this may be overlooked given the conditional nature of many of the questions). Furthermore, Virkler frequently interjects his own ideas about how theology or hermeneutics/exegesis should be, even though one can perceive that he's trying very hard to write an objective textbook. An objective text should remain objective in its entirety. Such comments can be easily spotted however, and thereby mentally "set aside." Additionally, I noticed several typos or printing mistakes, mostly in the form of erroneously spelled words or misplaced punctuation marks.
I recommend this book with 4 stars for those who know little to nothing about hermeneutical methods, but would also add that the student can find much more information from more advanced sources, specifically in the realm of the history of hermeneutics.
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By Rob Taylor on April 16 2003
Format: Paperback
Interestingly, this introduction to hermeneutics was written by someone who does not consider himself a theologian nor an exegete. Dr. Virkler is a professor of psychology who sensed the need for an introductory text on hermeneutics that translated theory into practical exegesis. His goal in this work was to not only provide a reader with the principles of interpretation needed to exegete Scripture, but to also be able to apply them in sermon preparation or personal Bible study. With this goal in mind, Dr. Virkler included exegetical exercises at the end of almost every chapter dealing with specific passages and involving real life situations. His presupposition throughout this work is that the meaning of a text is the author's intended meaning. This is a great all-around hermeneutics text since it follows a logical structure, is fairly comprehensive and allows the reader to practice what he has learned with the "brain teasers" included. All in all, this is a great text.
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