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Elements of Biblical Exegesis, 3rd Edition

A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers

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World-renowned scholar Michael Gorman presents a straightforward approach to the complex task of biblical exegesis. This third edition of Gorman's widely used and trusted textbook (over 60,000 copies sold) has been thoroughly updated and revised to reflect developments in the academy and the classroom over the past decade. The new edition explains recent developments in theological interpretation and explores missional and non-Western readings of the biblical text. Adaptable for students in various settings, it includes clear explanations, practical hints, suggested exercises, and sample papers.

Introduction to the Third Edition
Introduction to the Revised and Expanded Edition (2009)
Introduction to the First Edition (2001)
Part One: Orientation
1. The Task
2. The Text
Part Two: The Elements
3. First Element: Survey
4. Second Element: Contextual Analysis
5. Third Element: Formal Analysis
6. Fourth Element: Detailed Analysis
7. Fifth Element: Synthesis
8. Sixth Element: Reflection--Theological Interpretation
9. Seventh Element: Expansion and Refinement
Part Three: Hints and Resources
10. Exegesis and the Exegete
11. Resources for Exegesis
Appendix A: Tables of Exegetical Methods
Appendix B: Practical Guidelines for Writing a Research Exegesis Paper
Appendix C: Sample Exegesis Papers and Sample Exegetical Summary
Appendix D: Selected Internet Resources for Biblical Studies


"For anyone wanting to study the Bible seriously and thoughtfully, Michael Gorman's Elements of Biblical Exegesis is a must-read. This now-standard textbook is clear and complete, practical and profound, incisive and fair-minded. This third edition has helpful, up-to-date annotated bibliographies of key resources--from Bible versions to commentary series to a host of other important resources. Gorman highlights the insights from Majority World interpreters to aid his readers in understanding what it means to read the Bible in global conversation."

Jeannine Brown, professor of New Testament and director of online programs, Bethel Seminary

"Exegesis as a prix fixe meal ('first a salad, then a main course . . .') has its limitations but is more effective for teaching students than exegesis as a smorgasbord ('a dollop of source criticism here, a smidge of form criticism there . . .'), which only leaves students uncertain about how the meal needs to be prepared. This is the clear advantage of Gorman's stepwise introduction. I have used it multiple times in divinity classes with satisfyingly positive outcomes. The inclusion of Majority World perspectives in the new edition is highly welcome, as is the expanded attention to missional hermeneutics. Gorman has done the academy and the church a great service with this handbook. I recommend it and hope to see it even more widely employed in the future."

Stephen B. Chapman, Duke University

"For a textbook to be widely used after almost twenty years is extraordinary, but in this case I am not surprised at the success of Elements of Biblical Exegesis. I have recommended and assigned earlier editions countless times for my biblical methods courses. I have quoted from Elements in some of my published work. And I return to it personally time and again for my own refreshers. Simply put: this is the best introduction to biblical interpretation for students and pastors, and its third update will insure its continued availability and use."

Nijay K. Gupta, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

"Gorman's book helps the beginning exegete learn all the basic elements to grow as a responsible, well-informed, and engaged biblical interpreter. The third edition includes numerous insightful instructions and examples that will allow Western readers to benefit from Majority World perspectives while also helping Majority World interpreters do better work. Gorman's clarity of thought, simplicity of language, and balanced approach for combining detailed textual analysis and engaged interpretation of a text will help train responsible ministers of the Bible in the service of the church today. I highly recommend this book to all teachers and students of the Bible, especially in the Majority World."

Roji Thomas George, professor of New Testament, South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore, India

The Author

  1. Michael J. Gorman

    Michael J. Gorman

    Michael J. Gorman (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He formerly served as dean of the Ecumenical Institute of...

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