How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets", by Peter J. Gentry (book review)

I was drawn into this book from the early pages, as the author, Peter J. Gentry, captured my attention by pointing out that I have so much more to learn about various genres of literature.  Prophetic literature contained in the Christian Bible is just one of those genres.

Gentry makes it clear that understanding the genre, the intended audience, the culture, etc. all play important roles in correctly interpreting the original author's intent.  For instance, readers today would likely draw different conclusions about the following headlines printed found in different sections of a local newspaper: "Tigers Maul Blue Jays", or "Lions Clash with Jaguars".  Thess headlines found in the Nation and World section would carry far different interpretations than the same headings being found in the sports section. One has a literal interpretation, while the other is metaphorical.

In a nutshell, Gentry's words say this about his own book's purpose: This " focuses...on how Hebrew literature works and how it differs from the kind of literature we are familiar with in the Western world."  Therefore, Gentry introduces the reader to various Hebraic literary methods -- such as chiastic structures, apocalyptic language, the use of oracles, and foretelling future events, etc. -- in order to simply and clearly explain to readers how to recognize these literary differences. Once we recognize these techniques, then we are more likely to better interpret the passages in which they are used.

I would definitely have benefited from reading this book several years ago, but am very thankful for the opportunity to read this today. It has opened my eyes toward a deeper understanding of God's word.  I would definitely recommend this book to any reader and student of God's word who aims to dig below surface level reading of scripture.

I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

I received the digital version of How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets free of charge from Crossway in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment