King's Evangelical Divinity School

29 January 2010

Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters

Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters, by Donald K. McKim, ed.
Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
Review originally published on the IVP website.

An Invaluable Resource for Hermeneutics, Biblical Studies and Church History Alike

This excellent book, which boasts an impressive list of contributors, represents an essential hermeneutics resource. As well as over 200 entries on major biblical interpreters, it offers an invaluable panorama of hermeneutic history divided into six periods, thereby rooting each individual interpreter within an essential historical, ecclesiastical and philosophical framework. The broadly sympathetic articles provide historical context and biographical details for each interpreter, together with their exegetical methods and hermeneutical significance. Each article includes a useful list of further reading. Major interpreters from across church history are represented. Essays exploring well-known figures (eg Barth, Childs, Schleiermacher) are substantial and insightful, discussing not only their hermeneutic but also those theological and philosophical influences underpinning it. Less well-known interpreters are also examined, together with church figures better known for other reasons (eg Athanasius, Bede, Jonathan Edwards) but whose biblical interpretation is nonetheless important. I know of no resource like this, providing the student and scholar alike with a bewildering array of first rate material. Not only a hermeneutics resource, this book is equally useful for church history and biblical studies, and at just £30 for over 1100 pages represents excellent value. I will be making it required reading for our undergraduate hermeneutics programme.

Review by: Dr Calvin L. Smith
Course Director, Midlands Bible College, England.

1 comment:

Donovan Palmer said...

I just read the historical section and agree with many of your comments. In fact, I can see me reviewing parts of this over and over as it is densely packed, with much to absorb.