Words & the Word: Explorations in Biblical Interpretation and Literary Theory, Edited byDavid G. Firth and Jamie A. Grant

Words & the Word

Explorations in Biblical Interpretation and Literary Theory

Edited by David G. Firth and Jamie A. Grant

Words & the Word
  • Length: 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: March 04, 2009
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2898
  • ISBN: 9780830828982

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In recent decades scholarly study of the Bible has taken a literary turn. Now literary theory has taken its place at the hermeneutical table and demands a voice in the conversation.

Words and the Word, edited by David Firth and Jamie A. Grant, offers eight informative and stimulating essays that will bring readers abreast of this conversation. This volume's contributors are united in their belief that a proper understanding of key aspects of literary theory can make a significant contribution to biblical interpretation. Their essays survey general issues in the field, take a look at some specific approaches, and outline the relevance and contribution these make to the task of biblical interpretation. Students of biblical interpretation who have moved beyond the basics will find Words and the Word to be a wonderful introduction to the major ideas, methods and thinkers in literary interpretation of the Bible.

"Words and the Word provides a masterful guide to a profitable literary analysis of the biblical text. The essays are learned and insightful and will enrich the readers' interpretation of the biblical text. I recommend it highly not only for scholars, but also and especially for ministers and seminary students."

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

"Two general papers titled 'Literary theory and biblical interpretation' (G. Osborne, who discusses narrative theory as a 'test case') and 'A structural-historical approach to the exegesis of the Old Testament' (S. Syman) are followed by six more papers that deal with speech-act theory (R. Briggs), genre criticism (J.K. Brown), ambiguity (D.G. Firth), poetics (J. Grant), and discourse analysis (T. Wardlaw). Each article has a bibliography. --Recommended."

International Review of Biblical Studies, 2008-2009

"Succeeds admirably in what it set out to do. It presents a wide array of topics in an introductory yet thorough manner, engages current scholarship outside of the boundaries of evangelicalism while showing the benefits and applicability of these resources to those within that interpretive community, and points the way towards further research for those whose interest has been piqued by the discussion."

Laura J. Hunt, Criswell Theological Review, Fall 2009



David G. Firth and Jamie A. Grant

Part 1: General Issues
1. Literary Theory and Biblical Interpretation
Grant R. Osborne
2. A Structural-Historical Approach to the Exegesis of the Old Testament
Fanie (S. D.) Snyman

Part II: Specific Approaches
3. Speech-Act Theory
Richard S. Briggs
4. Genre Criticism and the Bible
Jeannine K. Brown
5. Ambiguity
David G. Firth
6. Poetics
Jamie A. Grant
7. Rhetoric
Peter M. Phillips
8. Discourse Analysis
Terrance R. Wardlaw, Jr.


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David G. Firth is tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol. He is the author of 1 & 2 Samuel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary), The Message of Esther, and The Message of Joshua, and the coeditor of Interpreting the Psalms, Interpreting Isaiah, Words and the Word, and Presence, Power and Promise.