This is a beginner’s guide to biblical exegesis, providing exegetical methods, practices, and theories. This book provides simple, helpful information and guidance about doing exegesis, without being overly prescriptive; succinctly introduces students to various methods; provides basic bibliographies that take students beyond an introductory discussion; and emphasizes exegesis as an everyday activity based on commonsense principles rather than as an esoteric enterprise.
This revised edition of this perennially best-selling textbook includes discussions of emerging methods of interpretation aimed at a contemporary audience. Several chapters have been updated and improved, and readers will find an incisive new chapter on exegesis with a focus on identity and advocacy. Holladay has also written a new concluding chapter on exegesis as the art of seeing. Bibliographies are updated, and a helpful glossary is included in this new edition.
“At first glance, this handbook looks like a text from a seminary’s Bible 101 class, and it would work beautifully in that context. But this resource is also useful for church study groups, pastors and others eager to exegete.” —Presbyterian Outlook
“Over twenty-five years ago, I purchased the second edition of Biblical Exegesis for my first biblical studies class as a seminarian. My scribbled notes revealed both anxiety about the task in front of me and confidence that this book would help me do the work. This fourth edition, with its up-to-date bibliographies, clear explanations of multiple types of exegesis, revised chapters, and words of encouragement, will give students the same confidence to engage with biblical texts. The book is subtitled A Beginner’s Handbook, but it will help beginners become skilled veterans.”
—Stacy Davis, Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana
“In this fourth edition of the well-known handbook, Biblical Exegesis, Holladay offers a fully revised, freshly updated version of the beloved classic that he and Hayes published decades ago. Both comprehensive and comprehensible, this volume is an invaluable guide to the wonderfully complex world of biblical exegesis. It tops my list of recommended resources for new students and experienced pastors alike.”
—Michal Beth Dinkler, Associate Professor of New Testament, Yale Divinity School
“A book that has now served generations comes to us here afresh in a fully updated version. It is basically a book about listening to the Bible, how to listen in ways that you can hear what biblical writers were saying in their context and their way and not listen selectively or hear only what you want to hear. If you care about the Bible and its meaning, then this is the book for you. To care is to listen. Tools to take the Bible seriously—a wonderful gift.”
—William Loader, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
“Hayes and Holladay have guided countless students over multiple decades by clearly setting forth the tools and methods involved in reading the biblical text well. This fourth edition of Biblical Exegesis retains all the virtues that have served students so well in the past by introducing them in a simple way to the traditional aspects of historical criticism. Holladay’s thorough revision will also introduce students to current questions (such as, how does our social location impact exegesis?), new tools (for example, digital tools), and wise guidance for further research with updated bibliographies. There is no better one-volume guide that demystifies biblical exegesis.”
—Joshua Jipp, Associate Professor of New Testament, Trinity International University
“This fourth edition of Biblical Exegesis by Hayes and Holladay is an amazing gift of scholarly expertise set to the task of defining biblical exegesis; describing its methods, its histories, its values; and ultimately showing why it matters for biblical and nonbiblical scholars. Hayes and Holladay marshal an impressive array of exegetical approaches to theorize and demonstrate that ‘exegesis does not allow us to master the text so much as it enables us to enter it.’ Drawing from the fields and subfields of archaeology, cognitive linguistics, cultural and literary studies, postmodernism, postcoloniality, and others, Hayes and Holladay beautifully and lucidly bring together exegetical concerns about biblical sources, traditions, and canons, as well as interpretive communities, cultures, histories, geographies, and technologies, all toward the goal of exegesis as informed understandings of the biblical text without assuming arrival at the meaning of the text. Biblical Exegesis is a wonderful companion for the exegetical beginner and researcher; it is at home with a student in the classroom or a researcher in the library or a prophet on the streets or a preacher in a house of worship.”
—Kenneth Ngwa, Professor of Hebrew Bible, Drew Theological School
“Generations of students have relied on John Hayes and Carl Holladay to guide them through the complex landscape of biblical studies—a landscape that has undergone vast changes since the last edition of this classic work. Holladay’s fresh revision maps a way through the field, revealing opportunities for new vistas and pointing out the time-tested paths that lead to sound interpretations. Biblical Exegesis is an essential ‘field guide.’ It shows students what to look for when exploring the pages of Scripture. Moreover, it reveals the contours of contemporary scholarship through clear and direct prose, teaching students how they, too, can make sense of this ancient and vital text.”
—Joel M. LeMon, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology of Emory University