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Review: How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

We all interpret the Bible. Is our interpretation valid?

How do we Christians understand the Scriptures? Is it simply a matter of reading them and doing what they say? Or does it involve the more complicated matter of interpretation? Is the Bible a simple book that can be plainly understood without the need to interpret? Or does it require rigorous thought to discover its deep truths?

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (fourth edition). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Academic, 2014. 304 pages.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (fourth edition). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Academic, 2014. 304 pages.

Many of us take a middle view — that the Bible can be separated into what does and does not need interpretation. So once we have read and come to an elementary understanding of what we conceive to be essential, we often neglect what is more complex. We, therefore, end up not reading what we think we already know — and not reading what we know we don’t.

It is for the purpose of getting people to read the Scriptures again that Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart wrote How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.” It’s the authors’ conviction (one to which I subscribe) that everybody interprets the Bible. Interpretation is simply unavoidable. 

Reading the Bible and understanding what it says comes as a result of viewing it through the lens of our own lives and our own experiences, or interpretation. Hence, the issue is not whether or not we need to interpret the Scriptures, but whether our interpretation is valid.

The book is designed to give us the tools necessary for developing a better interpretation of the Scriptures, one that is grounded in their original intent, audience and context. The authors call us to take into account the different literary styles at play and how those subtle differences should influence our understanding. They also challenge us to develop an interpretation that has, at its core, the belief in the Scriptures’ inspiration, but also an honesty that suggests that inspiration can result in different implications for each book of the Bible.

Read the full review HERE.

Christian Bargholz is a member of the Eastside Church of Christ in Sydney, Australia. He is associate editor of InterSections Magazine, a publication for Churches of Christ in Australia, from which this review was excerpted.

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Filed under: Christian Bargholz Douglas Stuart Gordon D. Fee How to read the Bible for all its worth Opinion Review Reviews

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