Baker Academic has a brand new website! Click Here To Visit:

A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation

Cover Art Request Exam Copy

Where to Purchase


Recent decades have witnessed a renaissance of theological interpretation. Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas bring together a team of specialists to articulate a multifaceted vision for returning rigorous biblical interpretation to the context of the church.

Developed by the internationally recognized Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar, this book is designed to bring clarity and unity to the enterprise of theological interpretation. It positively integrates multiple approaches to interpreting the Bible, combining academic rigor with pastoral sensitivity for professors, students, and church leaders.

Craig G. Bartholomew and Heath A. Thomas
A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation
1. The History and Reemergence of Theological Interpretation
Angus Paddison
2. Doctrine of Scripture and Theological Interpretation
Michael W. Goheen and Michael D. Williams
3. The Ecclesia as Primary Context for the Reception of the Bible
Robby Holt and Aubrey Spears
4. Theological Interpretation and Historical Criticism
Murray Rae
5. The Role of Hermeneutics and Philosophy in Theological Interpretation
William P. Olhausen
6. The Canon and Theological Interpretation
Stephen G. Dempster
7. Biblical Theology and Theological Interpretation
David J. H. Beldman and Jonathan Swales
8. Mission and Theological Interpretation
Michael W. Goheen and Christopher J. H. Wright
9. The Telos (Goal) of Theological Interpretation
Heath A. Thomas
10. A Framework for Theological Interpretation
Denis Farkasfalvy
11. Theological Commentary
Mark Gignilliat and Jonathan T. Pennington
12. Theological Interpretation for All of Life
Craig G. Bartholomew and Matthew Y. Emerson


"Interest in theological interpretation of Scripture has occasioned several explanatory introductions, commentaries on both Testaments, a dictionary, a journal, and now a manifesto. Accompanying the twelve-point manifesto are an equal number of essays that exposit and further explore each article. This multiauthor work may now be the best starting place from which to understand the rise, nature, methods, and aims of this ancient-future proposal for reading the Bible in and for the church in order to hear God's address to his people."

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This book marks an unexpected development--a significant advance--in the theological interpretation of Scripture. Here we find a wide range of scholars, from across the ecumenical spectrum, each demonstrating how Scripture can and should be read and understood in the context of the church, the canon, and the great tradition. Such a canonical and ecclesial approach exhibits considerable explanatory power. The authors present the book as a manifesto. May it soon become a movement."

Scott Hahn, William and Lois McEssy Distinguished Professor of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization, Mundelein Seminary; founder and president, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

The Authors

  1. Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, England. He was formerly senior research fellow at the University of Gloucestershire and the H. Evan Runner Professor of...

    Continue reading about Craig G. Bartholomew

  2. Heath A. Thomas
    Courtesy of OBU

    Heath A. Thomas

    Heath A. Thomas (PhD, University of Gloucestershire) is dean of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, associate vice president for church relations, and professor of Old Testament at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He...

    Continue reading about Heath A. Thomas


"Up-and-coming voices as well as established scholars . . . from across the ecumenical spectrum . . . explicate the Manifesto. . . . Scholars and theologians coming to this text from their own disciplinary, topical, or thematic expertise can find multiple launching points into TIS. . . . A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation puts many of the important aspects of the TIS discussion squarely on the conversation table."

Amos Yong,

Modern Theology

"[This] volume offers an informed one-stop shop for those interested in the major concerns of theological hermeneutics."

Matthew Lynch,

Society for Old Testament Studies Book List

"An intriguing read for anyone who enjoys exegetical theology, especially the field of hermeneutics. . . . The contributors come from various theological backgrounds emphasizing that theological interpretation is an ecumenical project that crosses denominational and doctrinal lines. . . . Each contributing author asks specific questions about how theological interpretation should move forward in the present context that the church finds itself. . . . This is an edifying book that could be read at one's leisure. It is not only a friend to the scholar, but it is also a call to get back into sincerely reading Scripture for what it is, God's voice speaking to us."

Jacob Hercamp,

Concordia Theological Quarterly

"Among contemporary theorists and practitioners of theological interpretation, those assembled in the volume under review are among the finest. As such, A Manifesto for Theological Interpretation is a significant work, and a logical entry point into the conversation regarding theological interpretation that is ongoing among biblical scholars. . . . There is much to love about this volume. It represents a mature move by biblical scholars toward the rapprochement of biblical and theological studies. It is both informative and insightful, identifying and illuminating key facets of theological interpretation. It poses important questions, and has the potential of sparking needed discussions. Moreover, while there is diversity in the material (and in the perspectives of the contributors) there yet seems to be a common desire among the authors to keep one foot in the academy and the other in the church, and to embody the synergy that comes from such a stance. . . . For those who are interesting in learning more about theological interpretation, especially from the perspective of those within the field of biblical studies, this volume would be a great place to start."

Tim Harmon,

Transformed blog (Western Seminary)