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Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation

Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation
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Goldsworthy, Graeme


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While there are many books on hermeneutics, Graeme Goldsworthy's perception is that evangelical contributions often do not give sufficient attention to the vital relationship between hermeneutics and theology, both systematic and biblical.

In Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, Goldsworthy moves beyond a reiteration of the usual arguments to concentrate on the theological questions of presuppositions, and the implications of the Christian gospel for hermeneutics. In doing so, he brings fresh perspectives on some well-worn pathways.

Part I examines the foundations and presuppositions of evangelical belief, particularly with regard to biblical interpretation.

Part II offers a selective overview of important hermeneutical developments from the sub-apostolic age to the present, as a means of identifying some significant influences that have been alien to the gospel.

Part III evaluates ways and means of reconstructing truly gospel-centered hermeneutics.

Goldsworthy's aim throughout is to commend the much-neglected role of biblical theology in hermeneutical practice, with pastoral concern for the people of God as they read, interpret and seek to live by his written Word.

341 pages, bibliography


Book Details

341 Pages
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN 10: 0830828397
ISBN 13: 9780830828395

Staff Pick: "Graeme Goldworthy knows that because Jesus came everything is different—even our hermeneutics. In this superbly readable guidebook to Christian biblical interpretation, he puts biblical theology to work in the service of the Gospel to teach us and model for us how to read our Bibles Christianly. As valuable for Sunday School teachers as it is for preachers, Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics demonstrates what happens when hermeneutics 'gets saved.'"
Mark Traphagen, Westminster Bookstore Staff
See all of Mark's Staff Picks. Mark's extended reveiw of this book begins below.

Staff Review: In Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, Graeme Goldsworthy takes to the platform, wags a revival-preacher's finger at a tent-full of interpretive theorists, and shouts, "Your hermeneutics need to get saved!" Turning aside, he shakes a fist at the ground given up by evangelicals to secular theories of communication and interpretation. For a moment, he gives a nod of recognition to non-Christian postulations in those areas, noting that they often make valuable contributions. But soon he rises to the climax of his sermon: there is, and should be, a distinctively evangelical hermeneutic in regard to Scripture, and it is unashamedly gospel-based.

The title of the book's introduction--—Can Hermeneutics Be Saved?——is an intentional pun. On the one hand, Goldsworthy places the science of hermeneutics on the endangered species list, the result of binging on too many philosophical dead ends. On the other hand, he is quite literal about the word "saved" in a sort of ordo salutis of interpretation: "[T]he grace of God acting for us, is prior to, and is the source of, the action of God in us...This theological perspective also applies to hermeneutics. Our ability to interpret Scripture must be saved, justified, and sanctified through the gospel" (p. 16, emphasis added).
Read the rest of this review and other endorsements

"The focus of Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics is not word studies but Word study: a sustained reflection on the priority and centrality of the good news concerning Jesus Christ as the distinct way that Scripture interprets Scripture and, indeed, all of reality. Goldsworthy's attention to the role of biblical theology in biblical interpretation is particularly welcome, providing a refreshing contrast to what often gets produced by the contemporary hermeneutics industry. And by highlighting the gospel of Jesus Christ, he puts the evangel back into evangelical hermeneutics."
- Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Wheaton College Graduate School

"Graeme Goldsworthy is widely known as a master interpreter of biblical texts. In particular, his studies have enriched the thought of many students of the Bible and informed the sermons of countless ministers. How wonderful that Goldsworthy now guides us in a study of how to read the Bible. His readers will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of the gospel-centered nature of Scripture."
- Tremper Longman, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

"Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics by Graeme Goldsworthy is a fresh and insightful contribution to the expanding field of hermeneutics. Goldsworthy's work skillfully focuses this work around a clarion call to gospel-centered faithfulness, while demonstrating the breadth of related issues in the areas of biblical interpretation, church history, philosophy and theology. The book is to be commended for its illuminating clarity, its wide scope and its practical presentation. Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics will certainly become a most reliable resource for students, teachers and preachers for years to come. I enthusiastically recommend it."
- David S. Dockery, president, Union University

"Goldsworthy recognizes that, for followers of Christ, the Bible simply is not like any other book. Accordingly, in these erudite and seasoned reflections on a biblical hermeneutics grounded and centered in Christ, he maps the discipline as it has been and is--and, based on his evangelical commitments, how it must become. Here is practical wisdom for any would-be interpreter of Christian Scripture."
- Joel Green, professor of New Testament interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Not a book best handled with casual reading. Rather, it is the type of book that must be approached with a certain level of hermeneutical angst and a willingness to perceive one's own hermeneutical shortcomings. It is also the type of book that should be read more than once, perhaps annually for a decade or so."
- Miles Van Pelt, Reformed Theological Seminary