Basic Bible Interpretation. Colorado Springs, CO: Victor, His focus is proper interpretation because only that results in proper application p. Application, then, is the goal. But incorrect interpretation can lead to misguided application, which has the potential to set off course both individual and corporate ministry.
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Roy Zuck, now present with the Lord, earned his Th. After completing his doctoral classes, Dr. Zuck took a position with Scripture Press as editor of Youth Programs. Zuck later pursued a position with Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, but was providentially directed by a Dr. John Walvoord to take a position as assistant professor of Bible Exposition and assistant academic dean at Dallas Theological Seminary.
In addition to his career in higher education, Dr. He highlights the importance of interpretation when he writes of its value in understanding and teaching the Bible properly, in going beyond observation, and in proper application.
With the end goal of interpretation stated, Zuck then briefly provides the means to interpretation. Zuck introduces the reader to other terms such as exegesis, exposition, homiletics, and pedagogy and shows their relationship to one another in the process of interpretation.
He asserts that five main approaches have been taken throughout the centuries: literal, allegorical, traditional, rationalistic, and subjective. Zuck Using these two terms Zuck claims two axioms: 1 The Bible is simply a human book and 2 The Bible is a divine book.
Beginning with the first axiom, Zuck states six corollaries. First, The Bible was recorded in human language and followed normal, grammar regulations. Second, each passage had an author who wrote to an original audience for a specific purpose. Third, each author was affected and influenced by his cultural setting. Fourth, each passage was understood in its intended context. Fifth, each passage of Scripture has a specific literary form. Lastly, the original audience understood the author by operating under the basic laws of logic and communication.
Zuck attaches four corollaries to the second axiom. Second, the Bible is authoritative. Third, the Bible has unity. Lastly, the Bible 3 contains mystery. Zuck begins in chapter four by bridging the cultural gap. Some specific areas of culture that Zuck includes are political, religious, economic, legal, agricultural, architecture, clothing, domestic, geographical, military, and social.
Zuck provides four principles to help determine if a specific command, precept, or practice in able to be transferred to our culture. First, if Scripture treats the subject as normative then it is transferable.
Second, if the situation is specific to an individual it is not transferable. Third, if the situation or command is only partially similar to our then the principles drawn from it are transferrable. Chapter five focuses on bridging the grammatical gap. Zuck highlights the importance of grammatical interpretation by pointing to its inspiration. A notable section in this chapter is his 4 mention of determining the meaning of words. Zuck offers four influencing factors: etymology, usage, synonyms and antonyms, and context.
In chapter six and seven , Zuck expounds on rhetorical interpretation, style of writing, and form. A main part of rhetorical interpretation involves different types of literary genres in Scripture such as, legal, narrative, poetry, wisdom literature, gospels, logical discourse, and prophetic literature. Also included in rhetorical interpretation is structural analysis.
Different structures can give different effects. Different types of patterns include parallel patterns, chiasms, inclusios, inversions, and acrostics. Chapter seven is an extension of rhetorical interpretation. Zuck uses chapter seven to only focus on figures of speech.
Zuck states that figures of speech are used to attract attention, to make abstract ideas more concrete, for memory retention, to abbreviate ideas and to encourage meditation. Zuck believes it should usually be obvious when a figure of speech is being used. In another section of this chapter Zuck reconciles the use of figurative language with literal interpretation.
He concludes the chapter with a list of kinds of figures along with examples of each kind. Zuck begins with an interesting list of translations of the Greek word typos, used 15 times in the New Testament. Some of the ways it has been translated are: marks, idols, as follows, pattern, form, example, and model. Zuck gives five characteristics of a type: resemblance, historical reality, heightening, prefiguring, and divine design.
Zuck believes that the New Testament must designate a type as a type; otherwise, it should be seen as only an illustration or allegory. Zuck concludes the chapter by discussing symbols. Symbols and types are essentially the same thing in that they both represent something else. Parables were effective in communicating deep truth to simple people while simultaneously encouraging people to meditate. He gives a list of at least twenty different kinds of parables some of which include seed parables, nature parables, servant parables, and father parables.
Zuck offers some helpful guidelines when interpreting the parables: 1 observe the natural meaning, 2 why is the parable being taught, 3 find the main truth being illustrated, and 4 confirm the truth of the parable with a clear teaching gin Scripture. Zuck spends the rest of the chapter analyzing the biblical use of allegory. He provides a helpful list to distinguish between parable and allegory. He provides three guidelines for interpreting allegories: 1 Find the points of comparison, 2 refrain from interpreting the details that are not explained, and 3 determine the main point.
Zuck shifts his attention to interpreting prophecy in chapter ten He begins by informing the reader that studying prophecy is important because it comforts, calms, converts, converts, cleanses, compels, and clarifies.
Zuck identifies two main issues that are basic to eschatology: 1 the millennial issue and 2 the dispensational issue. He provides a brief overview of the three main millennial positions. Zuck shows his premillennial conviction by including a fairly long list of quotes from the early church that supposedly show their premillennial ideas.
He provides hermeneutical bases for both amillenialism and premillenialism but seems to leave postmillennialism out. Zuck includes a short section on the differences between covenant and dispensational theology. He closes out the chapter with several guidelines to aid in proper interpretation of prophecy such as 1 use grammatical, historical, literary interpretation, 2 take prophetic words in their normal sense, 3 consider the literary factor, 4 make the messiah central, 5 recognize foreshortening, 6 find the obvious interpretation, 7 compare parallel passages, and 8 look for prophecies that are fulfilled and prophecies that are not.
Zuck argues that Old Testament quotations served a number of purposes. An Old Testament quotation in the New Testament could have pointed to an Old Testament fulfillment, agreed with an Old Testament principle, explained a point, supported a point, illustrated a truth, applied the Old Testament to the present, summarized a concept, as well as several others.
Zuck believes that there is an element that the Old Testament authors did not understand all they wrote. More truth was realized as progressive revelation took place. Zuck also believes that some passages were not recognized as prophetic until their fulfillment took place.
He adds that the element of typology suggests that God had more in view than the human authors were aware of. Zuck presents four views on double and single meaning. The last chapter seeks to properly apply the information attained by following the guidelines of everything that has gone before. The book seemed to be littered with a kind of sharpness toward those of a different theological persuasion, specifically covenant theology.
While it is impossible to hold Zuck up with contempt for holding to his theological convictions, he maybe could have calmed them down. Three specific instances come to mind related to this. First, his rather lengthy list of premillennial quotations from the early church Fathers seemed ambitious. While these early church fathers may have held to premillennial convictions, many of the quotations selected were ambiguous and could have fit several millennial positions.
Recognizing this could make the reader perceive Zuck as dishonestly representing information to promote his dispensational premillenialism. Second, in the same chapter he offers the hermeneutical bases of amillenialism and premillenialism but fails to represent the postmillennial position. Both camps claim a grammatical historical hermeneutic; they simply disagree on what should be taken as figurative within a shared hermeneutic.
The full process from initial observation to application and all that is in between is clearly laid out and is somewhat inspirational. Zuck has shown the importance of proper interpretation and has provided an excellent introduction to prepare the student for deeper study in the realm of hermeneutics. Also, his clarity on similar terms that are commonly misunderstood 9 and confused such as allegory, metaphor, and parable were beneficial.
Overall, Zuck has done an excellent job covering all of his bases and has made this volume a useful tool for an exegete at any level. Works Cited Bullinger, E. Zuck, Roy B. Basic Bible Interpretation. Wheaton, IL: Victor,
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Can the Bible really be understood? Are Old Testament prophecies relevant for today? How can I understand the symbolism of the Book of Revelation? What is the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament? Why study Bible interpretation? Roy Zuck points out that it is essential for understanding and teaching the Bible properly, essential as a step beyond observation, and essential for applying the Bible correctly.
Basic Bible Interpretation
A book on hermeneutics you can understand. Zuck has drawn heavily on his many years of teaching in the seminary classroom to present an excellent treatise on biblical interpretation. While this book will be well received in the classroom, it is one that I will be wholeheartedly recommending to my congregation. While the scholarship is clearly present, it is nevertheless most readable and understandable by the average layperson.
Basic Bible Interpretation
The author of the book: Roy B. Are Old Testament prophecies relevant for today? How can I understand the symbolism of the Book of Revelation? What is the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament? Why study Bible interpretation? Roy Zuck points out that it is essential for understanding and teaching the Bible properly, essential as a step beyond observation, and essential for applying the Bible correctly. He discusses the challenges of Bible interpretation, considers the problems of Bible interpretation, explores the history of Bible interpretation, and defines key terms--all in a practical, down PDF-to-earth way.