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Let the Reader Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible (Limited Quantity) (McCartney and Clayton)

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“Well, that’s just your interpretation.”

For many people, interpreting the Bible is the art of making it say what they want. Even scholars often treat interpretation as a subjective exercise, not the search for true, objective meaning of texts. But hasn’t God spoken definitively in Scripture? Shouldn’t we be able to arrive at a good and true interpretation?

Convinced that God wants us to understand his Word in all its literary genres, Dan McCartney and Charles Clayton have provided a thorough, readable introduction to biblical interpretation, now updated in this second edition to address postmodern approaches.


Table of Contents:

Introduction: God’s Word and Human Understanding

What Is the Problem?

Part One: The Foundation of Understanding: Presuppositions

1. Truth, Language, and Sin

2. Knowing God: Presuppositions About the Bible and Creation

3. The Foundation and the Frame: Presuppositions and Interpretation

Part Two: Interpretation in Theory

4. The Church and Biblical Interpretation

5. The Grammatical-Historical Method: Knowing What It Meant

6. Removing the Veil: From What It Meant to What It Means

Part Three: Interpretation in Practice

7. Studying God’s Word

8. Biblical Genres 223

9. The Bible in Worship and Witness

10. Scripture and Guidance

Appendix A: Where Is Meaning?

Appendix B: The Historical-Critical Method          



Charles Clayton (MAR, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a leadership consultant in the UK and has been executive director of organizations in the UK and Middle East.

Dan McCartney (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament interpretation at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas.



“A fresh and insightful study of hermeneutics, scintillating in its scholarship.” — R. C. Sproul

“Comprehensive yet understandable. . . A helpful emphasis in the book is that interpretation is more than a cognitive exercise; it is also spiritual.” — Bibliotheca Sacra

“The best introduction to biblical hermeneutics. . . . Each section presents profound concepts simply and clearly.” — Bruce Waltke

“Skillfully combines the ingredients of reliable scholarship and practical wisdom. . . . a work which students at all levels will want to turn to again and again.” — Sinclair B. Ferguson