Interpretation Foundations

Silva Moises, 1996.  Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan.



            The key concept of Silva’s 1996 collection of previously published work on biblical interpretation is to create a one-stop shop for various points of view on the subject.  He has collected work from four respected writers and added their writings to some of his own to “explore the interface between hermeneutics and literary criticism, linguistics, history, science, add theology.”  (Silva, bc)        


            The strength of the texts is its content and comprehensive approach.  There are many facets to hermeneutics or biblical interpretation.  It is easy for even a serious theological student to get lost in it all!   Silva has taken well respected writings on the key disciplines used by most theologians and explored each of them and their relationship to biblical interpretation.   Some biblical students approach the Bible from a language perspective.  Some use a historical view.  Some prefer looking through the lens of science.  Some prefer using language as their foundation.  Others wish to use a combination of these and others.  Silva has brought all of these approaches and others to one place for review.

            A potential weakness of the work is the lack of depth or detail to any one of the disciplines discussed.  The work of these writers in this volume comes generally from much longer and more detailed work each of them has published.  It is difficult to summarize each in one volume.  On balance, Silva has done a nice job of this and it is not a significant weakness.          


            I can see myself using this text as a foundation for personal biblical interpretation over and over.  Frankly that is not really true of many texts I have encountered in my studies.

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