Book Review – Interpreting the General Letters: An Exegetical Handbook

Title: Interpreting the General Letters
Author: Herbert W. Bateman IV
Publisher: Kregel Academic
Publishing Year: 2013
Pages: 315
My Rating: 4 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

Interpreting the General Letters is a valuable tool in unpacking all the great and wonderful truths found in these sometimes difficult to understand books of the Bible.  First, let me point out this book is not necessarily a commentary so to speak.  If you are looking for a verse by verse exposition of each of the General Epistles, this is not it.  Neither is this book an easy to read, gospel-saturated look at the Scriptures.  But, this was not the intent of this book either.

Instead, this book is one you would do well to read before picking up any commentary.  Before you start trying to interpret and apply the content of the General Epistles, this book gives you a pretty clear foundation upon which proper interpretation and therefore sound application can take place.  This book tackles both the historical, textual and biblical context of each book.  It also takes the time to discuss some of the more technical and grammatical issues brought up in each book, material that may be ignored in most popular commentaries and works.

This work is academic in nature, and that must be expected in order to benefit the most from this title.  I was especially blessed by all the historical detail in the discussion of context.  It really does help one understand the background in which these letters were written.  To get into the mind and world of both author and audience is of the utmost importance.

So, I would highly recommend this title to anyone preaching through or studying the General Epistles.  Go out, get this book, and set aside a few uninterrupted hours to give this book it’s due!

Purchase the book here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.


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