Friday, June 7, 2013

Interpreting Paul

John D. Harvey offers a helpful volume for anyone who desires to understand and teach the letters of the apostle Paul. Interpreting the Pauline Letters is a brief guide (210 pages including glossary) that leads the reader from the text to proclamation. The book flows logically from genre to theology to text critical issues to exegesis and exposition. While it certainly is not exhaustive, Harvey includes every issue that the student of Paul needs to research while embarking upon such a study.

Particularly helpful is the chapter titled “Preparing to Interpret Paul’s Letters.” This is a quick study on textual criticism and translational issues. Harvey indicates that prior to interpreting the text, it is wise to review the textual variants and arrive at the likely form of the text one wishes to understand. I found myself resurrecting the Greek I had allowed to mold in my mind to get the most from this section. It is not necessary to know New Testament Greek, however, to profit from this volume.

This book indicates that it is part of the Handbooks for New Testament Exegesis series. If the other volumes in the series are as helpful as this one, the series would be a welcome addition to any library.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising