Christological and Trinitarian Rules for Exegesis
by R. B. Jamieson; Tyler R. Wittman
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Pub Date 05 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 28 Jun 2022
Baker Academic & Brazos Press, Baker Academic
“In content, this book is a profound study of the triune God and the incarnate Son. But in form and method, it’s a master class in how to read the Bible directly and accurately, aided by classic, doctrinal wisdom. Introducing readers to clear rules and proven tools, Jamieson and Wittman put theology where it belongs: in service of knowing God through his Word. Biblical Reasoning is a triumph, a gift given to equip the saints for the work of interpretation.”—Fred Sanders, professor of theology, Torrey Honors College, Biola University
“Does biblical exegesis, when done with modern tools, collapse the classical dogmatic consensus on the Trinity and Christ? Jamieson and Wittman show us why the answer is no through a careful introduction to what Scripture is, what hearing Scripture’s truth involves, and why the realities of the Trinity and the incarnation are biblical. This book requires the attention of all catholic (and Catholic) Christians. The movement founded by the great John Webster rises to new heights with this book!”—Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
“Over the last few decades, believing scholars within both theology and biblical studies have been trying to retrieve and reappropriate the riches of the Christian tradition that have fared poorly in the modern era. Well versed and deeply rooted, Jamieson and Wittman represent this vision with wisdom, beauty, verve, and practicality. These writers and this book give me hope and courage for the ongoing task of a robust ecclesial life guided by Holy Scripture and biblical reasoning.”—Jonathan T. Pennington, professor of New Testament, Southern Seminary; pastor of spiritual formation, Sojourn East Church
“God’s self-presentation to us in Scripture is the path to God’s self-presentation to us in the beatific vision. For this reason, biblical interpretation is never merely a matter of attending to the various historical, literary, and theological features of the text. If biblical interpretation is to fulfill its divinely appointed end, we must learn to recognize the face of God in Holy Scripture (Ps. 27:8). In this profoundly learned, instructive, and helpful work, Bobby Jamieson and Tyler Wittman outline and exemplify a number of well-tried exegetical principles and tools for discerning in Scripture the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. This is a book of generational significance that deserves to be read by all teachers and serious students of the Bible.”—Scott R. Swain, president and James Woodrow Hassell Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida
“This book is an invitation to another book: Holy Scripture. In Biblical Reasoning, Jamieson and Wittman make what might be called an exegetical confession: Scripture is God’s word that reveals and redeems to the end that readers are brought into relationship. God speaks so God’s creatures finally see God. Trinitarian and christological doctrine, in this economy, is not a movement away from the biblical texts but rather the theological grammar that flows from and returns the reader to the canonical voice of God, the Father who sends the Son and the Spirit. Tolle lege, tolle lege: take up and read this book, for the sake of taking up and reading the other one.”—Jonathan A. Linebaugh, associate professor, University of Cambridge; fellow, Jesus College
“Theology needs to be exegetical and contemplative, though a whole host of pressures draw attention elsewhere. Biblical Reasoning helps alert us to where we should focus and equips us to do so with competence and care. I hope it’s read widely by students and those who long to go back to school with the Scriptures.”—Michael Allen, John Dyer Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
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Over the past several years I have read a lot of books that attempt to explain the Christian concept of the Trinity and without fail I always ended up more confused about the idea at the end of the book than when I started … except with this book. Although the authors target the book at biblical scholars and theologians (the respective specialties of the authors), the material is presented in a highly organized and pedagogical process that will keep even casual readers engaged with good comprehension of the concepts. Perhaps what makes this book so exception is that the primary goal is not to explain the Trinity, but to provide the reader with a series of principles and rules with which to approach biblical study in order to understand what scripture is actually telling us … and then by way of example, applies these principles and rules to one of the most difficult mysteries to understanding in christianity … the Trinity. Because of that, it takes great pains to ensure that you know exactly what the underlying terms means (such as Begetting, Spiration, Procession, Mode, et al) before using them. Definitions and examples are probably the elements most often missing in the previous books I have read and it makes a huge difference in comprehension.
The first three chapters of the book lay the foundation of the methods that will be used to form what the authors refer to as a biblical reasoning tool-kit that ultimately should be used in all biblical exegesis. These rules are further refined in the next five (5) chapters following a four (4) part structure: “biblical pressure, theological grammar, [identifying/defining common] rules, and exegetical application of the rule(s).” The last chapter (10) applies everything we have just been taught to a single passage from the Gospel of John (5:17-30) and how that passage reveals the trinitarian mystery. In the end … the Trinity and the Incarnation are probably too enigmatic to understanding completely, but with this book, at least I feel that I am making progress and that I now have the tools necessary to continue my search for even greater understanding.
Chapter 1 - Seek His Face Always
Chapter 2 - The School of Christ
Chapter 3 - The Curriculum of Christ
Chapter 4 - Worthy Are You
Chapter 5 - The Lord Is One
Chapter 6 - Varieties of Activities but the Same God
Chapter 7 - One and the Same The Unity of Christ and the Communications of Idioms
Chapter 8 - Greater Than Himself and Less Than Himself
Chapter 9 - God from God
Chapter 10 - Putting the Rule-Kit to Work
I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.