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Sensing the Scriptures
Aminadab's Chariot and the Predicament of Biblical Interpretation
Karlfried Froehlich
with Mark S. Burrows

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POD; Published: 9/21/2014
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7080-3
Price: $ 28.99
176 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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A senior scholar's novel survey of the "senses" of biblical interpretation through the centuries

This book explores the ways that Christians, from the period of late antiquity through the Protestant Reformation, interpreted the Bible according to its several levels of meaning. Using the five bodily senses as an organizing principle, Karlfried Froehlich probes key theological developments, traditions, and approaches across this broad period, culminating in a consideration of the implications of this historical development for the contemporary church.

Distinguishing between "principles" and "rules" of interpretation, Froehlich offers a clear and useful way of discerning the fundamental difference between interpretive methods (rules) and the overarching spiritual goals (principles) that must guide biblical interpretation. As a study of roots and reasons as well as the role of imagination in the development of biblical interpretation, Sensing the Scriptures reminds us how intellectually and spiritually relevant the pursuit of a historical perspective is for Christian faith and life today.
Review of Biblical Literature
"This work enhances the knowledge of every theologian and is a wonderful introduction for anyone who wants to understand the broad historical arch of biblical interpretation and theological understanding of the fourfold sense of Scripture. . . . Highly recommended."
Bernard McGinn
— University of Chicago Divinity School
"In the midst of our contemporary crisis in reading the Bible, Karlfried Froehlich's Sensing the Scriptures offers a valuable alternative. This clearly written and compelling book makes a strong argument for a new look at the centuries-old view of the multiple senses of Scripture, especially the four levels symbolized by Aminadab's chariot (Song of Songs 6:12): the literal, the allegorical, the tropological, and the anagogical. This reconceiving of the principle of the four senses may allow modern readers to see biblical interpretation not as a problem, but as an opportunity for a personal appropriation of the message of the text beginning with the 'touch' of the literal meaning and ascending to the 'taste' of the anagogical sense."
William Yarchin
— Azusa Pacific University
"Accessible yet penetrating. Froehlich draws upon his magisterial familiarity with fifteen centuries of primary sources to highlight the multifaceted character of pre-modern Christian biblical interpretation. . . . He illumines a path whereby we might join earlier generations in exploring ways of engagement with the broader range of Scripture's senses. A remarkable historical and hermeneutical tour de force."
David C. Steinmetz
— Duke Divinity School
"In this remarkably brief and learned book Froehlich introduces readers to a Bible richer and more complex than they had ever imagined."
Midwest Book Review
"This book explores how Christians, from early times through the Protestant Revolution, interpreted the Bible and its meaning, and considers the five bodily senses as a basic organizing principle as it explores theological evolution. . . . The result is a solid study recommended for any scholarly Christian collection."