Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics

By Hicks, Lester J. | Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, December 2007 | Go to article overview

Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics


Hicks, Lester J., Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics. By Jeannine Brown. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007, vii + 315 pp., $21.99 paper.

With Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics, Jeannine Brown joins the ranks of introductory hermeneutic textbooks. Defining Scripture as a communicative act, Brown's model fosters a dialogue between Scripture and the exegete, guiding contextualization while guarding against common historical mistakes of focusing upon author, text, or reader to the detriment of the others.

While many introductions to biblical hermeneutics may be characterized as pedantic or idiosyncratic, Brown offers a clear and concise hybrid of recent scholarship and traditional introductory topics, thus bridging the gap between basic Bible study methodology and technical discussions of hermeneutical theory. Scholarly yet practical, Scripture as Communication surveys the historical and theoretical foundations of the modern hermeneutic debate, while never losing sight of helping readers in their ability to interpret and contextualize the Bible.

The text is divided into two sections. The first section offers a theoretical foundation for Brown's approach, while the second section addresses traditional introductory topics from this perspective. Well supported with ample footnotes, each chapter concludes with a brief summary and most chapters include a short bibliography of suggested texts for further research. Following the main body of the text are five appendices specifically aimed toward the novice reader and a lengthy bibliography of key works in the hermeneutical debate.

In keeping with a style that strives for clarity, chapter 1 reviews seven concepts pertinent to Brown's approach. Each concept is defined so as to introduce the reader to the concept and its particular role in the field of hermeneutics. In addition, Brown subtly introduces the reader to key hermeneutical discussions traditionally plagued by debate.

In chapter 2, Brown begins to explain her hermeneutical approach. Drawing from linguistic and literary theory, she describes her model of interpretation as eclectic, self-critical, and consistent with the manner in which Scripture defines itself. Arguably the most conceptually difficult chapter in the book for the novice, the scholar will recognize the introductory fashion in which the various theories are described.

Chapter 3 offers an historical survey of the development of modern hermeneutical theory. Organized around the roles of author, text, and reader, the chapter discusses the most commonly accepted figures in these debates. A well-written chapter that stands as an excellent introduction to the history and development of biblical hermeneutical theory, its footnotes and suggested readings offer easy access to more substantial treatments of hermeneutical debate and development.

Recognizing that the previous two chapters may cause meaning to appear as too difficult a thing to be grasped, Brown uses chapters 4 and 5 to argue how her approach aids in the discovery of meaning. In chapter 4, meaning is affirmed as complex, elaborate, connected to author, text, and reader, and, most importantly, within one's grasp. A necessary chapter, it offers insight to Brown's nuanced model, allowing readers to recognize her contribution to biblical hermeneutics through a communicative model.

Elaborating upon these affirmations, chapter 5 discusses the complexity with which meaning may be expressed. Again drawing upon linguistic theory, Brown illustrates how such concepts as "implications," "echoes," "allusions," and "perlocution" create depth of meaning and a need for a careful and holistic interaction with the text.

Chapter 6, "An Invitation to Active Engagement," is a preemptive answer to the potential danger of reading a text as communication. Through a series of gracious warnings and cautions, Brown invites the reader to use her hermeneutical model, while transitioning from her unique approach to the more traditional topics found in discussions of Bible study methodology. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.