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Word of Life

Word of Life: Introducing Lutheran Hermeneutics

Author: 
Timothy J. Wengert (Author)
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Description

Renowned Reformation scholar Timothy J. Wengert explores the genesis of Lutheran biblical interpretation by tracing the early work of Martin Luther, Melanchthon, and other Wittenberg exegetes. Their new approach led them to view Scripture in terms of "law and gospel," to read and translate the Greek and Hebrew text, and to focus on a theology of the cross and justification by faith. Luther and his colleagues found God working in the last place anyone would reasonably look: on the cross, in weakness and foolishness. Wengert demonstrates how these key historical and theological perspectives can be demonstrated in preaching, reflection, and teaching today. Using brief examples of preaching The Seven Last Word of Christ and reflecting on Luther’s work on a variety of Psalms, the author provides a path for students and pastors alike to plumb the depth of Lutheran hermeneutics in their preaching and teaching.

ISBN: 
9781506402826
Price: 
$29.00
ISBN: 
9781506402833
Price: 
$26.99
Release date: 
November 5, 2019
Pages: 
160
Width: 
5.50
Height: 
8.50

Endorsements

“Wengert’s core conviction in Word of Life—one he shares with Luther and Melanchthon—is that the meaning of a text becomes clear in its effect on the reader or hearer. In Wengert’s own words, ‘The crucial link between what a text says and what it does is the “for you.”’ Contemporary preaching would be much improved by adhering to the principle that the preacher’s role is less to speak about the text than to allow the text itself to speak to God’s people.”

Kathryn A. Kleinhans | Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University

“This volume draws readers into conversation with two believers who have spent their lives studying God’s word in the context of the life of the church and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in lecture hall and pulpit. Timothy J. Wengert engages Martin Luther’s message and method of conveying the biblical message with historical sensitivity and insight as well as thoughtful discernment of cutting issues of the twenty-first century. Wengert’s own treatment of texts from Christ’s passion and the Psalms then demonstrates in very helpful ways how Luther’s way of reading and applying Scripture for the entire congregation of God’s people functions most effectively in our day. Scholars, preachers, and hearers will profit much from this presentation.”

Robert Kolb | Concordia Seminary

It deserves a prominent place on the bookshelf of every preacher and student of the Reformation.

“The best historians labor to illumine the past in order to make sense of the present and guide us into the future. Such is the nature of Timothy J. Wengert’s Word of Life. A carefully researched investigation into the interpretive approach to Scripture pioneered by Martin Luther and his closest colleagues, Wengert’s volume not only helps us understand more deeply the roots of the Evangelical Reformation of the sixteenth century but also equips us to proclaim the good news to equal effect in the twenty-first. Luther’s conviction that words shape, create, destroy, and give life has never been more important to heed, making this volume as timely as it is insightful. It deserves a prominent place on the bookshelf of every preacher and student of the Reformation.”

David Lose | Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church

What a book! So clear in its historical interpretation, so deeply engaged in theology! 

“What a book! So clear in its historical interpretation, so deeply engaged in theology! Wengert leads us to the hermeneutical insights of Martin Luther and Luther’s friend and colleague Philip Melanchthon. Wengert puts them thoroughly into their historical context, following the lines of medieval and Renaissance hermeneutics and showing what makes them so unique in history. Even more, following in the footsteps of the Reformers, he guides the reader to a suitable understanding of Scripture in our time. Whoever wants to make an advance in understanding Holy Scripture will find a helpful guide here.”

Volker Leppin | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

A wonderful entrée to the most compelling insights and productive tendencies that the Lutheran tradition offers

“Remarkable for its brevity, this lively introduction provides a wonderful entrée to the most compelling insights and productive tendencies that the Lutheran tradition offers the field of biblical interpretation. A lifelong scholar of the Lutheran confessions, Wengert is both generous in his affection for that tradition and ecumenical in his appreciation for the church at large. I have been a Lutheran Bible professor for thirty-five years, and I learned some things I might have incorporated in my teaching all along. I love the way Wengert explains some of our curious expressions (‘foolish truth-telling’) and counterintuitive claims (no ‘before’ and ‘after’ in the Christian life). Time and again, he adopts a broad historical scope that ends up funneling right into up-to-the-moment interpretive concerns. The last two chapters bring everything together with stellar examples of application: sermons on the last words of Christ, and then, deeply moving and vulnerable reflections on the psalms composed as meditations between father and daughter while losing their beloved wife and mother to cancer.”

Mark Powell | Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University