Review

Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation by Graeme Goldsworthy

The goal of Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics is to teach readers to interpret the Bible so that they can understand what God is saying through it. One of our goals as Christian educators is to ensure that children of all ages understand what they are reading. Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics helps educators do this by breaking down the necessity of evangelical hermeneutics, discussing its challenges, and offering a reconstruction.

Goldsworthy begins by explaining the need for hermeneutics for every Christian regardless of denominational background. He argues that language, culture, history, literature, and the intended audience all play an important role in how the Bible is interpreted. The framework for interpretation is understanding the dimensions of communication as the communicator, the communication, and the receiver. He then explains how people let their own thought processes influence how they read Scripture, and he offers examples of people whose presuppositions have interfered with what the Bible is really trying to say. For example, after the coming of Christ, some ancient Jewish interpreters continued to think according to the law, due to presuppositions learned from historical traditions. Goldsworthy then discusses interpretive methods used by church fathers like Origen and Athanasius and spends a lot of time explaining when these methods should and should not be used.

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