Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JETS 60:2 (June 2017) p. 377
Inductive Bible Study: Observation, Interpretation, and Application through the Lenses of History, Literature, and Theology. By Richard Alan Fuhr Jr. and Andreas J. Köstenberger. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016, xii + 371 pp., $34.99.
The inductive Bible study book by Richard Fuhr and Andreas Köstenberger is a practical and useful tool that claims to have flowed out of Köstenberger and Richard Patterson’s earlier work, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology. It appears to lay the foundation for Köstenberger and Patterson’s earlier work by combining their hermeneutical triad of history, literature, and theology with the inductive Bible study method. To be sure, there is no shortage of hermeneutical or Bible study books on the market. Those geared to the beginner include Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, and David R. Bauer and Robert A. Traina, Inductive Bible Study. For the more advanced student there is: William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard Jr., Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, and Grant R. Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. But there is still room for this clear, practical, and easy-to-follow introduction to the study of the Bible.
The authors of this beginning textbook provide a nice balance, with a younger scholar, Dr. Fuhr (Liberty University), whose expertise is in the OT, and a more mature scholar, Dr. Köstenberger (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary), whose specialty is the NT. The structure of this book is exactly what readers would expect of an inductive study book: Observation, Interpretation, and Application. Chapter 2 basically lays out the steps for their inductive Bible study method, which is then further explained throughout the rest of the book. The strongest section is the discussion of the final area of Bible study: application. The authors provide sensible and practical guidelines on how to properly make the biblical text relevant to its modern readers.
The introduction provides a helpful description and explanation of the various gaps between the modern reader and the biblical text, namely the Time Gap, the Geographical Gap, and the Cultural Gap, and even gives some contemporary examples to help the reader understand these. But it is missing some biblical examples to help today’s student see why all the work required for in-depth study makes an important difference in the interpretation of the text. For example, Köstenberger explains that when he first studied the Gospel of John, he carefully mapped out the movements of Jesus and his followers throughout the land of Israel (p. 9), ...
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