Reading the Bible With the Dead: What You Can Learn from the History of Exegesis That You Can't Learn from Exegesis Alone

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-05-15
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co
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Many Christians would describe themselves as serious and regular readers of the Bible. Yet, if we are honest, most of us have a tendency to stick with the parts of the Bible that we understand or are comforted by, leaving vast tracts of Scripture unexplored. Even when following a guide, we may never reach into the Bible's less-traveled regions ? passages marked by violence, tragedy, offense, or obscurity. What our modern minds shy away from, however, ancient, medieval, and Reformation commentators dove into. In fact, their writings often display strikingly contemporary interests and sensitivities to the meaning and moral implications of the Bible's difficult narratives. John Thompson here presents nine case studies in the history of exegesis ? including the stories of Hagar and Jephthah's daughter, the imprecatory psalms, and texts that address domestic relations, particularly divorce ? in order to demonstrate the valuable insights into Scripture that we can gain not only from what individual commentators say but from fifteen centuries' cumulative witness to the meaning of Scripture in the life of the church.

Table of Contents

Introduction : on reading with the dead : why anyone who cares about the Bible should also care about the history of its interpretationp. 1
Hagar in salvation-history : victim or villain? : symbol or saint?p. 13
Sacrificing Jephthah's daughter : the life and death of a father's only-begottenp. 33
Psalms and curses : anger management, on earth as it is in heavenp. 49
Patriarchs behaving badly : how should we follow saints who lie, cheat, break promises, commit insurrection, endanger women, and take extra wives?p. 71
Gomer and Hosea : does god approve of wife abuse?p. 93
Silent prophetesses? : unraveling theory and practice in 1 Corinthians 11p. 113
Divorce : Moses, Jesus, and Paul on the proper end of marriagep. 137
Wasn't Adam deceived? : Deciphering Paul's arguments about women in creation, fall, and redemptionp. 161
Reading sex and violence : Dinah, Bathsheba, Tamar, and too many othersp. 185
Conclusion : on cultivating the habit of history : reading the Bible in the presence of the pastp. 215
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