Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 143:571 (Jul 1986)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible. Edited by Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984. 921 pp. Paper, $16.95.

Having declared, defended, and delineated the Bible’s teaching concerning its own inerrancy, Bible students still have a problem. How does one know what God means by what He says in His inerrant and infallible Word? Awareness of that question led the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy to hold Summit II in Chicago on November 10–13, 1982.

This book contains the 16 papers and 32 responses prepared by evangelical scholars for that conference on biblical hermeneutics. After each paper was read at the conference, attended by several hundred leaders, two respondents gave papers of response and evaluation, which in turn were followed by discussion in a panel and a forum. Topics included theories of truth, historical grammatical problems, genre criticism, normativeness in Scripture, natural science and Scripture. accommodation of language, author’s intention, the Holy Spirit’s role in interpretation, philosophical presuppositions, the new hermeneutic, nonevangelical hermeneutics, the unity of the Bible, contextualization, the Old Testament in the New, homiletics and hermeneutics, and logic in interpretation. The format of including two responses for each paper gives readers opportunity to see how scholars, equally committed to inerrancy view these differing problems in hermeneutics. The significance of this conference is reflected in this book, a noteworthy volume in light of the issues in hermeneutics being discussed today.

While a few of the papers may seem ponderous, all of them are enlightening and helpful. John S. Feinberg makes an interesting suggestion that evangelicals should discard the word “intention” because of its

ambiguity and instead should “speak of the meaning of the author expressed in the text” (p. 54). This reviewer favors that suggestion. Readers may be surprised by Bruce K. Waltke’s suggestion that Genesis 1 and 2 represent two distinct creation stories stemming from differing sources with one being a P document and the other a J document (p. 90), that he advocates a “spiritualizing” approach to the prophetic literature (pp. 110-12), and “that numbers in the Bible are notoriously difficult to accept on face value” (p. 86). Respondents Kenneth L. Barker and Allan A. MacRae write with concern about these and other points.

J. Robertson McQuilken discusses the thorny problem of how to distinguish in Scripture between what is normative for all times ...

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