Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 21:2 (NA 2011)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Oda Wischmeyer, ed. Lexikon der Bibelhermeneutik: Begriffe—Methoden— Theorien—Konzepte. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009. Pp. lxxp. + 695. ISBN 978-311-019277-3. $238.00 cloth.

“To the making of lexicons and dictionaries there is no end” would be a fitting description of the academic publishing landscape of the last decades, even though German reference works focusing exclusively on hermeneutics have been less prominent (excluding John H. Hayes, Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation [2 vols.; Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1999]; Kevin J. Vanhoozer et al., eds., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible [London: SPCK; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005]; W. Randolph Tate, Interpreting the Bible: An Essential Guide to Key Terms Used by Biblical Interpreters [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2006]; and Stanley E. Porter, Dictionary of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation [New York: Routledge, 2007]). The Lexikon der Bibelhermeneutik (LBH) represents an innovative contribution from Europe to the never-ending debate about biblical text, canon, interpretive methods, and philosophical and linguistic underpinnings that inform biblical interpretation.

LBH has been published by an editorial team of ten experts in different fields (including philosophy, NT studies, German literary studies, systematic theology, OT studies, German linguistic studies, classical philology, Islamics, and church history), under the leadership of Wischmeyer, professor of NT at the University of Erlangen, Germany. Authors, numbering 311, mainly from European universities (with some 13 contributors living in Canada, the U.S.A., and elsewhere—fewer than 5%), seek truly to employ a “trans-disciplinary, heuristic” (p. xxv) approach. As a premise, the authors considered the Bible to be a “historically grown collection of paradigmatic individual texts and smaller and larger text collections” (p. xxv) that resulted in distinct canons (Tanak, Septuagint, Christian Bible). The entries also seek to understand the importance of the Bible for churches and Christianity per se as well as humanity as a whole. They not only interact with classical disciplines such as exegesis, theology, and church history but also look across the methodological fence to new linguistic, literary, cultural, and cross-religious perspectives. As already noted by the editor in her introduction, LBH is the child its age, searching for its own methods and theories when dealing with a canonical text such as the Bible (p. v).

The lexicon contains 212 entries, subdivided in three main categories. Category 1 contains 6 major entries, dealing with Bi...

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