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by Charles Clayton,Dan McCartney

  • ISBN: 1564762661
  • Category: Christian Books
  • Author: Charles Clayton,Dan McCartney
  • Subcategory: Bible Study & Reference
  • Other formats: doc txt lrf mobi
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Victor Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 1994)
  • Pages: 360 pages
  • FB2 size: 1463 kb
  • EPUB size: 1717 kb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 443
Download Let the Reader Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible fb2

After laying the necessary foundation, Let the Reader Understand provides examples of how, and how no. The authors also make a statement about other groups of Jewish sects were interpreting the OT and reaching different results because of different goals.

After laying the necessary foundation, Let the Reader Understand provides examples of how, and how no. This should have been greater qualified. Obviously there were people who believed that Jesus fulfilled the OT. Jesus called those people sincere and true Israelites, like Simeon and Anna. Other groups believed in a Messiah, so those would end up looking similar. The Qumran community applied Messianic prophecies to their leader, but those same Scriptures they used can be applied to Jesus as well.

For many people, interpreting the Bible is the art of making it say what they want

For many people, interpreting the Bible is the art of making it say what they want. But hasn’t God spoken definitively in Scripture? Shouldn’t we be able to arrive at a good and true interpretation?

Let the Reader Understand book. For many people, interpreting the Bible is the art of making it say what they want.

Let the Reader Understand book. Start by marking Let the Reader Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. But hasn't God spoken definitively in Scripture? Shouldn't we be able to arrive at a good and true interpretation?

For many people, interpreting the Bible is the art of making it say what they want.

For many people, interpreting the Bible is the art of making it say what they want. After laying the necessary foundation, Let the Reader Understand provides examples of how, and how not, to interpret Scripture. And it demonstrates how to apply Scripture to worship, witness, and guidance.

A great intro on how to understand the Bible. com User, April 21, 1999

book by Charles Clayton. A great intro on how to understand the Bible. com User, April 21, 1999. This book is great for anyone who desires to grow in their ability to read the Bible the way it wants to be read. If you desire to really understand what "thus sayeth the LORD", you've got to learn what the Bible says about itself. Let the Reader Understand", will get you started on that journey.

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This is an excellent book for first year students at bible college. It is well written and can be easily devoured as it is so enjoyable.

Earn extra money by helping your friends earn more for their books! . Author: Dan McCartney; Charles Clayton. Published: 08/02/2002.

Author: Dan McCartney; Charles Clayton. ISBN-13: 9780875525167. Best Vendor: SellBackYourBook.

Authors: Dan McCartney Charles Clayton. Every textbook comes with a 21-day "Any Reason" guarantee. Published by Presbyterian & Reformed Pub Co.

A guide to interpreting and applying the Bible. God's Word and Human Understanding of that word.
Reviews about Let the Reader Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible (7):
Samardenob
First starting out I thought I was in for a long read when I came across "sesquipedalian obfuscation" on page 14. Ironically it was used in the context of talking about how many modern theologies and philosophies can be confusing! Thankfully the vocabulary became less confusing as I read on. I am glad it talks about the word "inerrancy". I like this line, "A telephone directory might conceivable be inerrant, but its "truth" is not likely to set any one free". The authors basically say that using a word like "inerrant" is confusing and not sufficient. I heartily agree. Though more needs to said regarding this very important topic. I would refer someone to Roger E. Olson's webpage on inerrancy (rogereolson.com).

The authors, fairly quickly, make up their mind about the main thread of the Bible, the redemptive-historical character. But one has to wonder then, how the Wisdom Literature, especially Ecclesiastes and Job, fit in into this scheme.
Also I believe the authors confuse the relationship between the law and the new covenant by stating that only when someone isolates the law from the covenant relationship with God, does the law become an enslaver. But the law is never called an enslaver in that way. In Galatians 3 it locks us up in the sense of keeping us from getting out of control. In Romans 7 the law is described as a magnifying glass, if you will, that show just how bad sin really is. The law points to its own inadequacy and points to something else. Only sin is the thing that can properly be called a slave master, even if one uses the law improperly.

The authors also make a statement about other groups of Jewish sects were interpreting the OT and reaching different results because of different goals. This should have been greater qualified. Obviously there were people who believed that Jesus fulfilled the OT. Jesus called those people sincere and true Israelites, like Simeon and Anna. Other groups believed in a Messiah, so those would end up looking similar. The Qumran community applied Messianic prophecies to their leader, but those same Scriptures they used can be applied to Jesus as well.
Another statement used by the authors that was not well backed up was that "Jeremiah and Ezekiel were both told to prophesy, even though they would not be listened to. Presumably a later audience was the intended beneficiary". I am not sure how they came to this conclusion. I would think that God told them to prophesy so that no one could say that that they were not warned.

I do like the authors analogy of the acorn and the tree that grows from it. Their point is that a fuller meaning can be fulfilled later but only when that corresponds with the original sense. So the scarlet thread that Rahab hung out as a signal would not be a good analogy to the blood of Christ. The Joshua passage seems to emphasize the use of the thread more so because of it sticking out like a sore thumb like seeing someone wearing a reflective vest when running on the street.
I do not like the way they talk about the Song of Songs. They make it so that it can only be A. a sexually enticing love poem or B. Part of the redemptive nature of the rest of the Bible. Why can God not reveal to us humans how intense love should be in the marriage bed. A holy book on the sexual side of marriage, a God given institution (see Duane Garrett's commentary on Song of Songs).

It is also unfortunate that the authors simply state that "sinful nature" is an acceptable translation for flesh. This is the Achilles heel for the NIV. Many authors have made it a point that "sinful nature" is a bad choice of translation for the Greek word translated literally as flesh. For Romans 8:3 it would be best to either keep it as flesh or I would suggest a translation of human ego. So we would have - "or what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the human ego"
On the other hand I like his discussion of I Cor. 3:10-15 on how it is really talking about leaders in the church building the church, and not about some sort of rewards program based on the quality of effort we put into our Christian life.
But when he talks about Jephthah he unfortunately gets it wrong, which can be especially bad in a book on interpreting the Bible. In the bigger discourse analysis we actually see a pattern of condemnation where Israel is getting more corrupt, doing whatever is right in their own eyes.

What is clear is that the Jephthah, wastes little sympathy on his daughter, indeed he as good as blames her for his troubles; his thoughts are all centered on himself. One may suppose that he feels sorry for himself not just because he is to lose his daughter but because, since she is his only child, his line is to be abruptly cut short. One is left in no doubt that he has brought this on himself, for he "has debased religion (a vow, an offering) into politics". Just as the elders of Gilead had earlier offered Jephthah an inducement--that he should be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead in order to get him to fight for them, so now Jephthah has tried to bribe God himself (see Daniel Block's commentary on Judges). Also becoming a virgin in a temple would be a high honor not a cause for mourning. The word used is "burnt offering". This word is never used in the Bible to describe someone being dedicated for life in temple service.

It is also odd that the authors say that the first task of the authors of OT was to defuse speculation about the afterlife, because after all there was way too much speculation on this whole subject! Huh? Since when has speculation about the afterlife ever died down? It certainly was not their "first" task to counter this opinion. This statement has no basis in Scripture.

Also when the authors talk about the law, they divide it up into the moral and the apodictic. They say that the moral laws are always binding. But isn't it better to use the words of Jesus who summarizes the law, not by quoting the 10 commandments but by saying that we should love God and love our neighbor. This is a much better approach, because loving our neighbor even affects the Sabbath as Jesus countered multiple times with the Pharisees.

Also the authors somehow imply that going up to an unbeliever and sharing with them that Christ is the only way of salvation is somehow a too rational approach?! Huh?

They also say that all decisions in life have an ethical dimension?! So deciding whether to buy an electric Toro lawnmower or an electric John Deere that is the same price is a moral decision??

The authors' discussion on God's sovereignty unfortunately brings this fruitful discussion a couple of steps backward. If they would have read Roger Olson's books or website as cited before they would have been slower t make these statements. I would know since I was a student at Westminster. The professors there are good at creating straw men for the Arminian side. A really good example is Cornelius Van Til, an original faculty member when Westminster started. For instance, I know of no Christian who would say that God observes how we use freewill, then foreknowing our choices, puts our choices into His plan for our lives. Another example is that the authors believe that the Thessalonians would find "chosen" language confusing. From the Arminian perspective, being chosen by God is as Lightfoot says in his commentary on I Thessalonians, ekloge, is not used in the NT of "final salvation", but rather refers to conversion. The Thessalonians must be loved by God because when Paul preached to them, the Holy Spirit was there in power, which shows God's heart, meaning that he wanted them to be saved (Witherington 64, Commentary on Thessalonians). And I would add, just as he wants all to be saved. The Pharisees rejected God's purposes for then (Luke 7:30) and how people can resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).

Overall, I like many of the examples the authors use of misuses of Scripture and found the word study part to be very nicely written. I really like their emphasis that sentence diagramming is not as helpful as identifying each "thought unit". Simply, the grammatical structure may not always correspond to the "meaning" structure (186). If I would add anything to the word study section, it would be to emphasize that one should consult BDAG for definitions of conjunctions and prepositions. Because the Greek word transliterated gar, can mean for, or what!, how!, certainly, by all means, so, then, furthermore. So when someone says that when you see the word "therefore" you should see what it is there for, that actually can be misleading, because it might not mean therefore at all!

So in thinking about a recommendation, in my opinion, if you are looking into this subject for the first time this is not the book. I agree with another reviewer (Fee and Stuart, How to Read the Bible for all its Worth) would be best. But if you are not a newbie then I recommend it. Its good parts really come from the same mould as Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson. We could always use more of these kind of things. I would say read it to learn what not to do, and read it also for its talk about typology, and that is pretty much the extent of the good stuff.
Doath
McCartney and Clayton's work on hermeneutics is, at its core, understandable. It's ironic that most books on understanding Scripture are themselves difficult, and that's a pitfall that this work largely avoids. There are times when complex words are used when simple ones would suffice, but as a whole, this is an enjoyable, readable work on understanding the Bible without forcing an interpretation upon the Bible.

Perhaps most welcome is the lengthy section on language itself, and the resistance to a "secret decoder ring" approach to translation and interpretation. McCartney and Clayton reject the idea that a single word in one language means a single word in another, and that every use of a word is consistent. Instead, they constantly bang the drum of context, discourse analysis, and the premise that Biblical authors didn't sit around with a concordance choosing each word from a buffet of choices. Rather, authors wrote, stylistically, culturally, and often quickly. This doesn't remove God's super-intendence, but it does mean that the "word study" approach to Scripture--apart from other methods such as context, stylistic considerations, genre, etc.--is sloppy and often misleading.

This is ultimately a gateway book to many other hermeneutics texts, and it isn't--and doesn't claim to be--exhaustive. But it's a wonderful, conservative, believing introduction to understanding Scripture, and will go a long way for serious students and teachers of Scripture. It's got plenty of examples, it's well-written, and it's ultimately an enjoyable and worthwhile read.
Whiteflame
He starts out with a story about a college ministry that had a couple of students who were sleeping together (unmarried). When the campus minister approaches them with scripture verses that condemn their behavior, their response was "that's your interpretation"....hoping this stuns his readers (I'm not sure it stuns as many today as it would have 10 years ago)...he goes on to establish his premise that the bible is not a book with things for us to draw out of it whatever we feel is good for us....but rather a book that actually teaches certain things which comprise truth. From there he logically expands to cover a wide array of topics sequencing through the various issues of what Bible Scholars call 'Hermeneutics'. Biblical Hermeneutics is the art of interpreting scripture correctly.

I find his writing style to be inviting, concise, to the point and well organized. It's a really good book...on a subject that is not as easy to write about as it may first appear.

This book is a good primer for lay leaders as well as college students who are being introduced to the topic for the first time. We are using it to prepare our church leaders for an upcoming seminar on hermeneutics.

One of the things I like about this textbook is that it covers the history
of interpretation in a short period of time (pp 79-118), so the new student can come up to speed on what the history of interpretation has been in crucial time periods of Christianity. For example he focuses on Luther/Calvin hermeneutics and then modernity hermeneutics after that. He covers all the 'turning points' historically of hermeneutics. The quick overview is a really good primer for newbies in biblical hermeneutics.

For a busy pastor/bible teacher who has not had much or has forgotten their hermeneutics training...this book gives you a relatively easy read without sacrificing crucial elements. It will refresh you on the key elements of hermeneutics. If you are studying hermeneutics right now, and your course doesn't use this book, it is a good one to add for additional research or reading.

Five star...you really ought to add this one to your library.
Keth
Great book that helps the reader understand the true way to an effective Bible study and enrichment with God through a close and clear translation of the gospel

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