Interpretation

Interpretation is a journal covering essays on the Bible and theology. Since it was founded in 1947, it is produced quarterly. The journal is published by Union-PSCE.Subjects for Interpretation include religious publications. The editors are Samuel E. Balentine and James A. Brashler.

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 3, July

Between Text and Sermon: Hebrews 4:1-13
Selections from the epistle to the Hebrews appear during the closing weeks of Year B in the Common Lectionary. While the pericopes capture some of the high points in the epistle, they are fragmentary and without continuity. Only five verses from the...
Between Text and Sermon: Luke 5:15-26
Luke begins his Gospel with a careful presentation of Jesus. His reason for writing, like that of John, is "that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31)....
Between Text and Sermon: Psalm 125
One year before he was hung by the Nazis, theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote these words:By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,And confidently waiting, come what may,We know that God is with us night and morningAnd never fails to greet us each...
Bewteen Text and Sermon: Proverbs 8:22-31
Of all the passages in the collection known as the Book of Proverbs, none have been so controversial and have had such a far-reaching influence on later Christian theology as 8:22-31. The issues that have developed around this poem are due to its personification...
Major Book Reviews -- Judaism from Cyrus to Hadrian: The Persian and Greek Periods (Vol. One) by Lester L. Grabbe / Judaism from Cyrus to Hadrian: The Roman Period (Vol. Two) by Lester L. Grabbe
Judaism from Cyrus to Hadrian, by Lester L. Grabbe. Vol. One: The Persian and Greek Periods; Vol. Two: The Roman Period. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1992. 722 pp. $29.95 each vol.; $56.95 for set. ISBN 0-8006-2619-2.The Second-Temple Period of Jewish...
Major Book Reviews -- Nature, God and Pulpit by Elizabeth Achtemeier
Nature, God and Pulpit, by Elizabeth Achtemeier. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, 1992. 206 pp. $16.99. ISBN 0-8028-3706-9.There are a few things more thrilling than seeing a first-class mind at work. This book gives the reader such an opportunity...
Major Book Reviews -- Professor Reinhold Niebuhr: A Mentor to the Twentieth Century by Ronald H. Stone
Professor Reinhold Niebuhr: A Mentor to the Twentieth Century, by Ronald H. Stone. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. 284 pp. $21.99 (paper). ISBN 0-664-25390-3.This is Stone's second major study of Reinhold Niebuhr's life and thought. What,...
Major Book Reviews -- Prologue to History: The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis by John Van Seters
Prologue to History: The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis, by John Van Seters. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. 367 pp. $27.99. ISBN 0-664-21967-5.Subtitled "The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis," this well-written book requires clarification...
Major Book Reviews -- the Psalms through Three Thousand Years: Prayerbook of a Cloud of Witnesses by William L. Holladay
The Psalms Through three Thousand Years: Prayerbook of a Cloud of Witnesses, by William L. Holladay. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1993. 395 pp. $35.95. ISBN 0-8006-2752-0.The subject of this book is vast and various. The time covered is three millennia....
Major Book Reviews -- We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology by James H. Evans Jr
We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology, James H. vans, Jr. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1992. 192 pp. $12.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2672-9.A central task of systematic theologians is to interpret their community's religious experience....
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- A Brief History of Christian Worship by James F. White
A Brief History of Christian Worship, by James F. White. Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1993. 192 pp. $13.95 (paper). ISBN 0-687-3414-0.Liturgical historians have been turning out histories of Christian worship for more than a century, and their contributions...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Assertive Biblical Women (Contributions to Women's Studies Series, No. 128) by William E. Phipps
Assertive Biblical Women, by William E. Phipps. Contributions to Women's Studies Series, No. 128. Greenwood Press, Westport, 1992. 184 pp. $39.95. ISBN 0-313-28498-9.Phipps continues to offer fresh insights into gender issues with this book's explorations...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas by Luis N. Rivera
A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas, by Luis N. Rivera. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. $19.95 (paper). ISBN 0-664-25367-9.This is an impressive account of the debates by the Spaniards in the 1490s...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Belonging to God: A Commentary on A Brief Statement of Faith by William C. Placher and David Willis-Watkins
Belonging to God: A Commentary on A Brief Statement of Faith, by William C. Placher and David Willis-Watkins. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. 214 pp. $9.95 (paper). ISBN 0-664-25296-6.Belonging to God is an uncommon genre of theological...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Death and Desire: The Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocalypse of John (Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation) by Tina Pippin
Death and Desire: The Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocalypse of John, by Tina Pippin. Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. 144 pp. $18.95 (paper). ISBN 0-664-25157-9.A resistance to any univocal reading...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Desire and Delight: A New Reading of Augustine's Confessions by Margaret R. Miles
Desire and Delight: A New Reading of Augustine's Confessions, by Margaret R. Miles. Crossroad, New York, 1992. 144 pp. $15.95. ISBN 0-8245-1163-8.Miles argues that the Confessions of Augustine is a text of pleasure both in the sense that the book is...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- from Synagogue to Church: Public Services and Offices in the Earliest Christian Communities by James Tunstead Burtchaell
From Synagogue to Church: Public Services and Offices in the Earliest Christian Communities, by James Tunstead Burtchaell. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 1992. 375 pp. $59.95. ISBN 0-521-41892-5.Was the earliest polity of Christianity...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Josephus and the New Testament by Steve Mason
Josephus and the New Testament, by Steve Mason. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1992. 248 pp. n.p. (paper). ISBN 0-943575-99-0.The purpose of this book is to assist New Testament students in reading Josephus. The first chapter describes abuse of...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Loyalty to God: The Apostles' Creed in Life and Liturgy by Theodore W. Jennings Jr
Loyalty to God: The Apostles' Creed in Life and Liturgy, by Theodore W. Jennings, Jr. Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1992. 238 pp. $18.95 (paper). ISBN 0-687-22821-2.In this new commentary on the Apostles Creed, Jennings seeks to situate the Creed in its...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Messiah: The Gospel According to Handel's Oratorio by Roger A. Bullard
Messiah: The Gospel According to Handel's Oratorio, by Roger A. Bullard. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, 1993. 148 pp. $10.99 (paper). ISBN 0-8028-0125-0.The messiah consists of fifty-three movements, which use a libretto of biblical citations...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Mozart: Traces of Transcendence by Hans Kung and Translated by John Bowden
Mozart: Traces of Transcendence, by Hans Kung. Translated by John Bowden. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, 1993. 81 pp. $9.99 (paper). ISBN 0-8028-0688-0.Kung combines in this brief pamphlet two loosely related lectures, one given to mark...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation by Craig A. Evans
Noncanonical Writing and New Testament Interpretation, by Craig A. Evans. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1992. 281 pp. n.p. ISBN 0-94375-95-8.This book contains chapters on each of the following different types of noncanonical literature: apocrypha,...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- No Other Gospel! Christianity among the World's Religions by Carl E. Braaten
No Other Gospel! Christianity among the World's Religions, by Carl E. Braaten. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1992. 146 pp. $10.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2539-0.The title No Other Gospel! has been consciously chosen as a response to Paul F. Knitter's No...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Processive Revelation by Benjamin A. Reist
Processive Revelation, by Benjamin A. Reist. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. 205 pp. $25.00. ISBN 0-664-21955-1.The question of revelation (what it is, how it happens, how it is related to human knowledge) has vexed theologians since the...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Reclaiming the Jesus of History: Christology Today by Roy Eckardt
Reclaiming the Jesus of History: Christology Today, by Roy Eckardt. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1992. 297 pp. $29.95. ISBN 0-8006-2513-7.Eckardt is a senior statesman among the religion teachers who have continued to do Christian theology in the setting...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Responses to 101 Questions on the Dead Sea Scrolls by Joseph A. Fitzmyer
Responses to 101 Questions on the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. Paulist Press, New York/Mahwah, 1992. 201 pp. $8.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8091-3348-2.It is becoming increasingly clear that, for Jews and Christians alike, the Dead Sea Scrolls...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Slaying the Dragon: Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition by Bernard F. Batto
Slaying the Dragon: Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition, by Bernard F. Batto. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. 248 pp. $15.95 (paper). ISBN 0-664-25353-9.The author states the major theme of his work as "the importance of mythopoesis,...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels by Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh
Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, by Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1992. 422 pp. $12.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2562-5.Following an invaluable introduction, the authors apply to each of the synoptic...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Taking the Word to Heart: Self and Other in an Age of Therapies by Robert C. Roberts
Taking the Word to Heart: Self and Other in an Age of Therapies, by Robert C. Roberts. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, 1993. 315 pp. $16.99 (paper). ISBN 0-8028-0659-7.Roberts, a philosophy professor at Wheaton College, has written a two-part...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Body of God: An Ecological Theology by Sallie McFague
The Body of God: An Ecological Theology, by Sallie McFague. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1993. 274 pp. $12.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2735-0.McFague's new book develops in depth the insight that she began to explore in her earlier work, Models of God. Theology...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Citizen-Temple Community (JSOT Sup. Series 151) by Joel Weinberg and Translated by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher
The Citizen-Temple Community, by Joel Weinberg. Translated by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher. JSOT Sup. Series 151. JSOT/Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield, 1992. 145 pp. $45.00. ISBN 1-85075-395-X.This book consists of seven previously published, though...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Depleted Self: Sin in a Narcissistic Age by Donald Capps
The Depleted Self: Sin in a Narcissistic Age, by Donald Capps. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1993. 176 pp. $12.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2587-0.Capps rethinks sin for us in the categories of neo-Freudian psychology of the self, especially that of Erik Erikson...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Figure of Abraham in the Epistles of St. Paul: In the Footsteps of Abraham by Roy A. Harrisville III
The Figure of Abraham in the Epistles of St. Paul: In the Footsteps of Abraham, by Roy A. Harrisville, III. Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, 1992. 314 pp. $79.95. ISBN 0-7734-9841.The intent of this study is to set Paul's interpretation of Abraham within...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Themes and Variations for a Christian Doxology: Some Thoughts on the Theology of Worship by Hughes Oliphant Old
Themes and Variations for a Christian Doxology: Some Thoughts on the Theology of Worship, by Hughes Oliphant Old. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, 1992. 147 pp. $10.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8028-0614-7.Old's book is an engaging attempt to formulate...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Passion of Interpretation (Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation) by W. Dow Edgerton
The Passion of Interpretation, by W. Dow Edgerton. Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. 160 pp. $19.95 (paper). ISBN 0-664-25394-6.The contrary goals of this book are to point out, first, that interpretation,...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Sense of a People: Toward a Church for the Human Future by Lewis S. Mudge
The Sense of a People: Toward a Church for the Human Future, by Lewis S. Mudge. Trinity Press International, Philadelphia, 1992. 258 pp. $17.95 (paper). ISBN 1-56338-040-4."There can be little doubt that a central theological issue of this decade will...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Theme of Recompense in Matthew's Gospel (JSNT Sup. Series 79) by Blaine Charette
The Theme of Recompense in Matthew's Gospel, by Blaine Charette. JSNT Sup. Series 79. JSOT/Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield, 1992. 184 pp. $50.00. ISBN 1-85075-385-7.Six words perhaps should have been added to the title of this well-written revision...
Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope by Emilie M. Townes
Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope, by Emilie M. Townes. AAR Academy Series 79. Scholars Press, Atlanta, 1993. 229 pp. $19.95 (paper). ISBN 1-55540-683-1.Townes has dedicated herself to recognizing and acknowledging the contribution of African-American...
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Luke 18:9-14 and Deuteronomy 26:1-15
STANDING BEFORE GODA Reversal of ExpectationLuke introduces the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector by observing that Jesus told it "to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt" (18:9). Clearly,...
The Prophetic Word of God and History
The claim that "God acts in history" is not compatible with our Enlightenment notions of control, reason, objectivity, and technique.(1) Indeed, if one begins with the assumptions of modernity, history can only be thought of as a bare story of power,...
"Why Do You Hide Your Face?" Divine Silence and Speech in the Book of Job
The Book of Job constitutes a masterful ancient expression of human grief and suffering. At the same time, the book's vocabulary of human grief and suffering cannot be fully understood apart from a confrontation with the grammar of divine silence and...
Work and Meaning: Some Theological Reflections
Work is a singularly important part of the identity of most people. For much of life, work for pay is the activity that takes up more time than any other and gives focus to the rest of life. This is usually true whether work is liked or disliked, whether...