To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application
Edited by Steven L. McKenzie and Stephen R. Haynes (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993), 251 pp.; $12.99.
Reviewed by James VanderKam
Anyone who reads works of biblical scholarship today is probably bewildered at times by the variety of methods that writers use in their scholarship. McKenzie and Haynes, colleagues at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, have assembled a heterogeneous group of 13 scholars, each of whom was assigned to write a chapter on one critical method. They were asked to provide an introductory description of the method, its relation to the others presented in the book, an illustration of the method using texts from Genesis or Luke-Acts, weaknesses of the method and bibliographical suggestions for those who want more. The result is a collection that has, as far as I know, no parallel. The chapters, with some exceptions, could be assigned to undergraduate or graduate students. The 13 types of criticism covered are divided into three sections: “Traditional Methods of Biblical Criticism” (historical, source, tradition-historical and redaction criticism); “Expanding the Tradition.” (social-scientific, canonical and rhetorical criticism); and “Overturning the Tradition” (structuralist, narrative, reader-response, poststructuralist and feminist criticism). One could argue whether all of these are independent methods of interpretation, but at least we now have an accessible, inexpensive and useful book to find out how 13 writers understand what these 13 different term mean.
The Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 1036 pp., $34.99.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Johnson
This companion to the earlier Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels collects 214 essays on diverse aspects of Pauline studies by the most prominent of evangelical Bible scholars. As with all multi-author reference works, even those written from a common standpoint such as this one, there is considerable diversity among the offerings. The advantage of this sort of reference work that it allows editors and to focus in greater detail on a New Testament author’s treatment of, say, Christology or worship or atonement than the more general articles on the same subjects in the larger Anchor Bible Dictionary or Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Students, pastor and educated laypeople (who appear to be the primary target audience for this book) will likely find useful and stimulating discussions of texts and the relevant scholarly discussions of them. Perhaps the most noteworthy characteristic of this volume is the inclusion both of scholars with an evangelical commitment and of scholars from the so-called mainline scholarship.
To Each Its Own Meaning:An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application
Edited by Steven L. McKenzie and Stephen R. Haynes
(Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993), 251 pp.; $12.99.
Reviewed by James VanderKam
You have already read your free article for this month. Please join the BAS Library or become an All Access member of BAS to gain full access to this article and so much more.