How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

This book started my hermeneutics journey while in college and it is still a treasure to reread today.

  1. The concern of the scholar is primarily with what the text meant; the concern of the layperson is usually with what it means. The believing scholar insists that we must have both (10-11).
  2. First, to find out what the text originally meant; this task is called exegesis. Second, we must learn to hear that same meaning in the variety of new or different contexts of our own day; we call this second task hermeneutics (11).
  3. Because the Bible is God’s Word, it had eternal relevance; it speaks to all humankind, in every age and in every culture…the Bible also has historical particularity; each document is conditioned by the language, time, and culture in which it was originally written (17).
  4. The key to good exegesis, and therefore to a more intelligent reading of the Bible, is to learn to read the text carefully and to ask the right questions of the text (22).
  5. A text cannot mean what it never meant (26).
  6. [Regarding Epistles] …this is the crucial thing to note in reading and interpreting them: they are all what are technically called occasional documents (i.e., arising out of and intended for a specific occasion), and they are from the first century (48).
  7. We simply cannot stress enough the importance of your learning to THINK PARAGRAPHS (54).

Book Overview

Understanding the Bible isn’t for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. The Bible is accessible. It’s meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. A few essential insights into the Bible can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your 21st-century life.

More than half a million people have turned to How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth to inform their reading of the Bible. This third edition features substantial revisions that keep pace with current scholarship, resources, and culture. Changes include:

* Updated language
* A new authors’ preface
* Several chapters rewritten for better readability
* Updated list of recommended commentaries and resources

Covering everything from translational concerns to different genres of biblical writing, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth is used all around the world. In clear, simple language, it helps you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible—their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today—so you can uncover the inexhaustible worth that is in God’s Word.