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A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible
Playing by the Rules – Second Edition
by Robert H Stein
Publisher:Baker Academic imprint of Baker Publishing from SPCK
Published:01 June 2011
That there are rules will came as a surprise to some!
In this second edition of his book the author states his aim early on: ‘the goal of reading the Bible is to understand what the Biblical authors meant by their writings.’ (p.ix) For many if not most readers this would be one among many goals, and perhaps not even the primary one. However, the book’s lively presentation which includes diagrams, questions at the end of chapters (with model answers!), and a real attempt to explain at every stage, is attractive and engaging. There is much to be learned from these pages therefore, but there are also draw-backs. Stein seems at his least convincing in the chapter entitled, ‘The Game of Exaggeration’. As applied to the Scriptures this is controversial enough, but the subtitle is even more problematic: ‘Overstatement and Hyperbole.’ Who decides which is which?
Reviewer: Ian Gibbs (18/10/12)