- This is from the Amazon product description, which I found more helpful: In this wide-ranging study Rosalind Selby explores the hermeneutical implications of a Barthian epistemology in which 'giveness' (of knowledge, talk of God and Scripture, and the Church) is paramount. From this she seeks to develop a 'hermeneutics of service' that challenges both liberal and fundamentalist approaches to theological language and biblical interpretation. Selby tackles the issues of knowledge, and especially knowledge of God, the language used to communicate that knowledge and that language as Scriptural textuality. Barth wrote of 'the comical doctrine that the true exegete has no presuppositions' In fact, he said, 'no one reads the bible directly-we all read it through spectacles' In the train of his insight, Selby examines the role of community as a prerequisite for knowledge and truth claims before examining the different ways that various 'communities' interpret Scripture (focusing on St. Mark's Gospel). The presuppositions of the different starting places are revealed and the appropriateness of various methodologies discussed. The Quest for the Historical Jesus and its struggles to handle the resurrection are used as a 'test case' to show the impact of different hermeneutical strategies. The insights in this thought-provoking study have implications for issues as wide ranging as the genre 'Gospel' the authority of Scripture, the Church as a 'reading community' the plurality of interpretations and the possibility of controlling them, the relationship between general and special theological hermeneutics, as well as epistemological foundationalism and its alternatives.
- I'm a complete novice when it comes to the field called Biblical Theology, but I got this book after reading New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ by Thomas Schreiner. I would recommend both books to anyone, though I think Professor Schnelle makes more references to other Biblical Theologians (at least in the main text, though perhaps not in the footnotes), whereas Professor Schreiner's NT Theology comes across as more of an abbreviated commentary of the whole New Testament (with a ton of Biblical references). So though I think this book is excellent, you might want to start with Dr. Schreiner if you're not as familiar with the history of NT Theology. On the other hand, if you're wanting to get an introduction to the history (especially the 20th century history) of NT Theology, then Dr. Schnelle would be my recommendation as a better place to start because he directly engages the thought of other scholars more throughout his main text. I hope that's helpful. I will probably change this review once I learn more about the subject of NT Theology (once I read the NT Theologies by B. Childs and by Goppelt that I just picked up), though I can't imagine that I would ever change the rating to less than 5 stars. It is a monster of a book, and should keep you busy for a while. In spite of all that, and in spite of how much he interacts with other scholarship, it is a very pleasant read. But I still need to read it another time or two (and get more acquainted with the field as a whole) before I could give a very intelligent review. However, I was very surprised to see that no one had recommended it, so I had to say something about it. I would buy it again!