Episode: Christians like to speak about letting Scripture interpret Scripture, but beyond using an easy passage to make sense out of a more difficult one, what does this mean? David Starling has written a unique book, Hermeneutics as Apprenticeship, that provides a compelling answer. David and OnScript host Matthew Bates ponder how our biblical authors model the art of good scriptural interpretation. And, beware, it’s coming, so watch out for the hermeneutical snowball.
Guest: David Starling lives in Sydney, Australia and teaches New Testament at Morling College. His PhD studies were at the University of Sydney and his thesis, on Paul’s use of exile imagery, was published as Not My People (de Gruyter, 2011). Subsequent publications include Theology and the Future (London: T&T Clark, 2014), UnCorinthian Leadership (Cascade, 2014), and The Gender Conversation (Morling/Wipf & Stock, 2016). He is currently writing commentaries on Colossians, Ephesians, and 1 Corinthians. David is married to Nicole, and they have a son and three daughters. They are involved in serving together at Macquarie Baptist Church. David also serves as a member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity.
Book: David I. Starling, Hermeneutics as Apprenticeship: How the Bible Shapes Our Interpretative Habits and Practices (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2016). This book offers a fresh approach to the art of biblical interpretation, focusing on the ways Scripture itself forms its readers as wise and faithful interpreters. David Starling shows that apprenticing ourselves to the interpretive practices of the biblical writers and engaging closely with texts from all parts of the Bible help us to develop the habits and practices required to be good readers of Scripture. After introducing the principles, Starling works through the canon, providing inductive case studies in interpretive method and drawing out implications for contemporary readers. Offering a fresh contribution to hermeneutical discussions, this book will be an ideal supplement to traditional hermeneutics textbooks for seminarians. It includes a foreword by Peter O’Brien.
The OnScript Quip (our review): With regard to thoughtful biblical interpretation, David Starling shows himself to be a master craftsman. Why? Because he has sat attentively at the feet of the prophets and apostles, learning the art from them. And like any genuine master craftsman, he is also an expert teacher, helping us undertake a more profound apprenticeship to God’s word. This is a unique and uniquely compelling book. — Matthew W. Bates, Quincy University, OnScript