Can one profitably read scripture from a relational or process point of view? Can one do so without discarding those portions of scripture that on first read seem problematic to a modern-day reader?
Ronald L. Farmer, a minister and New Testament scholar, thinks it is possible and can, in fact, be a liberating and stimulating experience. His Beyond the Impasse: The Promise of a Process Hermeneutic (Mercer UP, 1997) was the first book-length work describing this exciting interpretative perspective. He then wrote a commentary on the book of Revelation (Chalice Commentaries for Today, 2005), a book that is one of the most challenging for modern interpreters, and has been problematic throughout Christian history.
In the present book, Farmer explores the way in which we read scripture and asks us to be conscious of what we bring to the table and the ways in which we use it. He then examines various interpretive tools and approaches to help us understand the ways of thinking that contributed to their development. Finally, he uses Revelation 4 & 5 to illustrate the impact of how rethinking our approach to scripture can contribute to us receiving and applying scripture in new and dynamic ways.
This book does not propose new interpretative tools for Bible study but rather focuses on a process perspective that enables us to gain new insights from the tools that have been developed over the centuries. This book will be valuable to anyone who wants to study the Bible while being conscious of one’s own (and others’) biases and presuppositions.