Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation Hardcover – Apr 1981
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From the Back Cover
In this accessible textbook, Henry Virkler and Karelynne Ayayo combine hermeneutical theory with practical steps for exegesis. The authors outline a five-step hermeneutical procedure that includes: (1) historical-cultural and contextual analysis, (2) lexical-syntactical analysis, (3) theological analysis, (4) genre identification and analysis, and (5) application. The key distinctive of the book is its emphasis on practical steps of Bible study. Instead of giving readers long lists of rules they need to memorize, this book walks them through a simple step-by-step process that they can integrate into all future study of the Bible.
The popular first edition has been translated into eight languages and has been used in a variety of settings. The second edition adds co-author Karelynne Ayayo and includes updated material covering developments in hermeneutics over the past twenty years. In addition, an Instructor's Resource CD containing teaching suggestions, PowerPoint slides, suggested answers to exercises, and supplementary handouts is available to instructors.
Praise for the first edition
"A useful introduction to the field. . . . [The] emphasis on practical application is a noteworthy goal which the author consistently addresses throughout the book. . . . The author addresses the major topics which a textbook in a hermeneutics course must cover. . . . His sensitivity to the fundamental hermeneutical problems of continuity-discontinuity . . . and cultural dynamics . . . is especially noteworthy. The chosen format is well suited to classroom use. It offers explicit goals stated at the head of each chapter, clear definitions, 'brain teasers,' summaries, practical 'exercises' (questions for discussion), and resource lists."
--Timothy S. Laniak, Bulletin for Biblical Research
"[A] helpful and accessible volume. . . . Virkler deals with most of the key issues in hermeneutics. . . . He does so in language that is understandable to non-specialists. . . . His explication of the various hermeneutical approaches is evenhanded and readable. This would be an excellent text to teach hermeneutics in a church setting. Its accessibility, fairmindedness, quality, and price make it a work with wide appeal. Recommended as an introduction to biblical study for any non-specialist."
--Steve W. Lemke, Southwestern Journal of Theology --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Henry A. Virkler (PhD, Georgia State University) is professor of psychology at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He has written five books, including A Christian's Guide to Critical Thinking. Karelynne Gerber Ayayo (ThD, Boston University) is assistant professor of New Testament at Palm Beach Atlantic University. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I took this course via correspondence with Dr. Virkler as the instructor. This is a superb book with very sound Bible study techniques. Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by David C. Leaumont
I first read this book about five years ago and find it a great resource. It emphasizes several aspects of understanding the Bible that I believe students need to understand. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2003 by Amazon Customer
Henry Virkler has written a concise, readable, and practical guide to interpreting Scripture. There is a brief introduction and history of the subject, followed by a practical... Read morePublished on July 10 2002 by Todd Hudnall
This book is one of my absolute favorites! Virkler displays an exceptional understanding of Biblical principals and explains them in clear and understandable language. Read morePublished on March 4 2001 by Sigel