If the Word of God is our anchor in the chaos of this world, if it is our assurance that we can know the world and God its Creator (as argued in The Gift of Knowing), we need confidence that we can understand this Word. Reading and applying the Bible is essential to every facet of Christian life and ministry, yet our ability to do so is under attack from a myriad of directions. In Postmodern philosophy, the possibility of communication is dismissed, let alone communication from God. In Biblical studies, the amount of knowledge required to come to firm conclusions concerning the meaning and application of the Bible grows every day. However, the Bible is not so pessimistic about its accessibility. Instead, it presents itself as a clear word, sufficient to guide and encourage Christians in every area of life. Having outlined in Part 1 a method for reading the Bible in order to understand it, The Gift of Reading – Part 2 addresses the issues of hermeneutics or the theory of reading. After briefly surveying the major approaches to reading the Bible throughout the history of the Church, The Gift of Reading – Part 2 argues for an understanding of the role of the text, reader, and author based on a Biblical epistemology and theology.
The Second Volume in the series “God’s Gifts for the Christian Life,” The Gift of Reading – Parts 1 & 2 offers a theological account of Biblical interpretation routed in the Bible as it presents itself. The Gift of Reading – Part 2 gives a theoretical foundation for the practices and theology of Biblical interpretation presented in The Gift of Reading – Part 1. The framework for interpreting the Bible presented across both parts provides a methodological foundation for the task of theology (the whole Christian life lived Biblically) as outlined in the later volumes of the series.