Book Overview

Grasping God’s Word has proven itself in classrooms across the country as an invaluable help to students who want to learn how to read, interpret, and apply the Bible for themselves. The third edition, revised based on feedback from professors, will continue to serve college-level students and lay learners well in their quest to gain a firm grasp on the rock of God’s word. Old Testament scholar J. Daniel Hays and New Testament expert J. Scott Duvall provide practical, hands-on exercises to guide students through the interpretive process. To emphasize the Bible’s redemptive arc and encourage correlation across the canon, the authors have included a call to “cross into the rest of Scripture” as an additional step in the Interpretive Journey.

Favorite Quotes

  1. Keep in mind that our goal is to grasp the meaning of the text God has intended (21).
  2. One of the most critical skills needed in reading the Bible is the ability to see the details (29).
  3. One context that is often overlooked is the context of the reader – the world from which the reader approaches the text (85).
  4. For the interpretation of any biblical text to be valid, it must be consistent with the historical-cultural context of that passage (97).
  5. The most important principle of biblical interpretation is that context determines meaning (115).
  6. There are two main approaches to translation: the formal approach (sometimes labeled “literal” or “word-for-word”) and the functional approach (often called “idiomatic” or “thought-for-thought”).
  7. If we view the text as communication, then we must seek the meaning that the author intended (170).
  8. When it comes to biblical interpretation, the Spirit appears to work little in the cognitive dimension, more in the area of discerning truth, and most in the area of application (199).
  9. When we come to the point of truly grasping God’s Word, we will find God’s Word grasping us (204).