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Liturgical Press

The Revelatory Text

Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture, Second Edition

Sandra M. Schneiders

The Revelatory Text
The Revelatory Text

ISBN: 9780814659434, 5943

Details: 248 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1/2
Publication Date: 07/01/1999
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In this new edition of her major study of the New Testament, Sandra Schneiders proposes a comprehensive hermeneutical theory for New Testament interpretation, which takes full account of the Bible as both sacred Scripture and as a historical-literary classic. Designed to spur reflection on the role of Scripture as revelatory text in the life of the Church and in the lives of individual believers, The Revelatory Text shows that an integral hermeneutical theory can ground a transformational hermeneutical praxis to make the biblical text available as a faith resource to the oppressed as well as to the privileged.

Schneiders investigates the meaning of the theological claim that the Bible is the "Word of God" and the "Church's book," along with the implications of these claims for biblical interpretation. She then examines the historical, literary, and religious-spiritual dimensions of the New Testament, highlighting the implications for interpretation theory and methodology, and concludes by putting her theory to the test in a feminist interpretation of John 4.

The author argues that the comprehensive object of biblical interpretation is not merely information but transformation. She suggests that an adequate hermeneutical theory must include a wide range of exegetical and critical methods within a theologically and philosophically adequate understanding of Scripture as sacred text. She writes specifically to educated believers who wonder how sound biblical criticism can be incorporated into a faith- filled reading of the New Testament; biblical scholars who struggle with the question of whether or how faith can function legitimately in biblical scholarship; and those whose task it is to teach and preach the faith that looks to the New Testament as source and norm.

Chapters are "The Problem and Project of New Testament Interpretation," "The New Testament as Word of God," "The New Testament as the Church's Book," "The World Behind the Test: History, Imagination, and the Revelatory Text," "The World of the Text: Witness, Language, and the Revelatory Text," "The World Before the Text: Meaning, Appropriation, and the Revelatory Text," and "A Case Study: Feminist Interpretation of John 4:1- 42."

Sandra M. Schneiders, IHM, is professor of New Testament studies and Christian spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

ISBN: 9780814659434, 5943

Details: 248 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1/2
Publication Date: 07/01/1999


. . . remains one of the most significant books in English on the interpretation of Scripture . . . . The Liturgical Press are to be thanked for making this hope-filled and faith-filled book available to another generation of readers.
The Furrow

A lucid and compelling argument that recent theories of interpretation combine to offer a new way of understanding the Bible as spiritually revelatory. Students of theology, spirituality, and feminist studies will profit immensely from the critical insights of this provocative synthesis.
Anne Carr, Professor of Theology, Divinity School, University of Chicago

By drawing on the resources of the best contemporary hermeneutical theory, Schneiders breathes new life into familiar notions such as inspiration, revelation and the Bible as ‘the Word of God,' while her proposal for a ‘hermeutics of transformation’ breaks new ground for a creative dialogue between scholarly study of the Bible and its use in the Church. Carefully thought-out and elegantly written, this work will be a standard for theologians and biblical scholars for years to come.
John R. Donahue, S.J., Professor of New Testament, University of Notre Dame

A major theoretical defense of hermeneutics as transformation in the tradition of Ricoeur and Gadamer, this book should be required reading for all exegetes working within a Christian tradition. The author advocates a wholistic model of interpretation which incorporates the broad range of strategies of reading found in the academy today. Her model treats the Bible as the founding text of Christian spirituality and insists that a Christian imagination plays a crucial role in our encounter with and understanding of the text.
Pheme Perkins, Professor, Theology Department, Boston College

Just as the New Testament is a classic, Dr. Schneiders' contribution to our understanding of its interpretation will undoubtedly become a classic in its own right. Schneiders engages some of the most pressing questions which have haunted biblical interpreters—academics, ministers, diverse kinds of believers—since the Enlightenment. As usual, Dr. Schneiders’ exposition is coherent, carefully organized and, because of its brilliant clarity, accessible to scholars and non-scholars alike.
Alice Laffey, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross

Once again Sandra Schneiders has brought her creative and critical insights to bear on the hermeneutical question and has produced a text of great clarity. Her book challenges its readers not only intellectually but as Christian believers. It will not only advance the current dialogue on biblical interpretation but will be a sourcebook for the study of spirituality as well.
Mary Milligan, R.S.H.M., Professor of Spirituality, Loyola Marymount University

. . . the major value . . . is how it weds the academic and religious, doing justice to each.
Edgar V. McKnight, Research Professor and William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Religion, Furman University

Forged by a scholar who locates her scholarship in real communities of faith and struggle, this book provides a range of resources that really are rooted in experiences and questions ‘from below.' By refusing the temptations of disembodied scholarship, Schneiders uses her considerable intellect and insight to serve those for whom interpretation matters.
Professor Gerald West, University of Natal, South Africa