Getting the Message: A Plan for Interpreting and Applying the Bible

Article excerpt

Getting the Message: A Plan for Interpreting and Applying the Bible. By Daniel

M. Doriani. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1996, 255 pp., n.p.

Doriani, professor of NT at Covenant Theological Seminary, has written technical articles on Biblical interpretation and has presented his "CAPTOR" plan of interpretation in one-day seminars at local churches.

His book provides a method for Bible study intended to help the reader move from "a casual and devotional reading of Scripture to a more theological and exegetical reading" (p. 10). The major chapters of the book relate to "phases of interpretation" and application of the Bible that follow the acronym "CAPTOR" (C = context, A = analysis, P = problems, T = themes, O = obligations, R = reflection). Five appendixes deal with more specialized information.

A major strength of the book is that it is well written and easy to read. Each chapter includes clear explanations, basic principles in interpretation, examples from the Bible and practice exercises. Modern-day illustrations, charts and diagrams are all used to portray key points.

Many useful principles are explained in the book that can help readers become more attentive to details of the Biblical texts. College and seminary students will find more technical guidance related to matters of interpretation in endnotes and appendixes. The author provides many fine interpretations of particular passages. He provides helpful information concerning narrative and discourse analysis. …