Narrative Reading, Narrative Preaching

Reuniting New Testament Interpretation and Proclamation

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"A brilliant book that brings biblical scholarship and preaching together at the highest and most helpful level. This collection teaches us that narrative preaching depends on 'narrative reading' of the entirety of Scripture. I know of no other book that makes so innovative a claim and delivers on it."--Richard Lischer, author of Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery

With the ongoing development of critical biblical studies, exegesis has become an academic discipline that often stands quite apart from the weekly homiletical work of the clergy. The two endeavors, interpretation and proclamation, which at one time were mutually informed and supportive, are now practically divided by divergent methods, interests, and goals. Narrative Reading, Narrative Preaching provides an exegetical and homiletical approach that seeks to break down these barriers.

The opening chapter charts a model for bridging this gap, setting down the framework for a narrative approach to reading and preaching the Bible that is "ecclesially located, theologically fashioned, and critically engaged." A narrative reading of Scripture acknowledges the claim of the whole to be God's story and allows for the theological unity of the varied materials that relate the events of creation, redemption, and consummation.

In an innovative and practical approach, the authors of the remaining chapters elaborate on the scope and value of narrative reading and preaching. Successive exegetical discussions consider the issues involved in interpreting the Gospels and Acts, the Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. Each exegetical chapter includes an exemplary reading by a New Testament scholar and is followed by a homiletical reflection that considers the exegesis from a preacher's perspective and provides a sample sermon on the passage. In this way, the authors provide distinctive yet intertwined applications of a narrative approach to both the interpretative and the homiletical tasks.

Seminarians, pastors, and students of the Bible will find here an engaging study that provides practical guidance for both exegesis and sermon preparation. Chapter contributors include the editors, James W. Thompson, William H. Willimon, Charles L. Campbell, and Stanley P. Saunders.


Endorsements

"Timid topical preachers can now be confident preachers of the biblical narrative. The gulf between the academic specialist in biblical studies and the parish minister pushed to prepare a weekly sermon no longer exists. Teachers of homiletics and teachers of hermeneutics are now on the same page. Narrative Reading, Narrative Preaching illustrates narrative elasticity in proclaiming the coherence of God's story from Genesis to Revelation. Such an achievement is a happy and welcome relief for the academy and the pulpit."--J. Alfred Smith Sr., senior pastor, Allen Temple Baptist Church

"Stocked with ideas drawn from across the centuries-from Augustine to the Yale theologians-this book is a thoughtful and sophisticated contribution to narrative hermeneutics. The give-and-take between biblical scholars and homileticians is most rewarding."--Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"By recalling our attention to the grand narrative of the Bible, this book shows that we are still part of that narrative and that 'critical reading' should not mean detached reading. A most useful book for preachers and any others whose task is to relate the biblical story to our story."--Justo L. González, author of The Story of Christianity

"Green and Pasquarello argue that narrative provides ground upon which biblical scholars and preachers can meet on equal footing. This volume deftly combines narrative interpretations of various types of New Testament literature with substantive homiletic reflection. All of us who listen to sermons will welcome this contribution toward reuniting disciplined attention to biblical narrative with life-giving proclamation."--Stephen Fowl, professor of theology, Loyola College

"Finding in narrative the key to the biblical story of God's acts of creation, redemption, and consummation, this volume seeks to integrate biblical interpretation and preaching in a way that fosters the formation of Christian identity in a broken and fragmented world. A careful reading will help scholars and preachers alike in their respective tasks. The book will be well worth the time spent with it."--Paul J. Achtemeier, professor emeritus of biblical interpretation, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia

"This is a brilliant book that brings biblical scholarship and preaching together at the highest and most helpful level. For too long 'narrative preaching' has meant whatever any preacher or homiletician wanted it to mean. This collection teaches us that narrative preaching is more than telling entertaining stories. It depends on 'narrative reading' of the entirety of Scripture. I know of no other book that makes so innovative a claim and delivers on it."--Richard Lischer, author of Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery


The Authors

  1. Joel B. Green

    Joel B. Green

    Joel B. Green (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is provost, dean of the School of Theology, and professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the...

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  2. Michael Pasquarello III

    Michael Pasquarello III

    Michael Pasquarello III (PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) is Granger E. and Anna A. Fisher Professor of Preaching at Asbury Theological Seminary and has more than twenty years of pastoral experience in the United Methodist Church. He is the...

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Reviews

"Pair[s] New Testament scholars and homileticians to evaluate major New Testament genres (gospel and Acts, epistles, apocalyptic) from the perspective of a narrative approach. . . . The book contains a number of interesting insights."--Preaching