Home  >  Five Models of Scripture
Share |
Five Models of Scripture
PAPERBACK; Published: 8/24/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7682-9
Price: $ 29.99
311 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
Add To Cart

“To relish the feast that is Scripture, we need to use multiple models.” 

A Christian never gains all that Scripture offers by reading it with just one approach. Yet too often this is attempted—whether through an academic obsession with the historical-critical method or through a consumerist approach that seeks only the motivation of the moment. Mark Reasoner broadens the options for scriptural engagement by describing five models of Scripture: documents, stories, prayers, laws, and oracles. To illustrate each, he uses examples from throughout the history of interpretation. While he concedes that certain books of the Bible will naturally lend themselves to particular models, Reasoner shows how an appreciation for all five will enrich one’s scriptural insights while also bridging divides between the various branches of the Christian family. 

In addition to the five models, Reasoner surveys Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant constructions of the biblical canon and addresses specific issues relevant to their respective interpretations of Scripture, including scriptural metanarratives, the use of the Bible in Christian worship, and the principle of sola Scriptura. Through it all, Reasoner remains unequivocally focused on his goal: “to help readers grow in their love for Scripture in ways that will help them plant this love in those to whom they minister.”

Table of Contents

Part One: How God Speaks in Scripture
1. Canons
2. Inspiration
Part Two: Five Models of Scripture
3. Documents
4. Stories
5. Prayers
6. Laws
7. Oracles
Part Three: Developments in Scripture Reading
8. Literal and Spiritual Senses
9. Sola Scriptura
10. Metanarratives
Part Four: Scripture in Real Life
11. Scripture in Worship
12. Devotional, Academic, and Professional Uses of Scripture

Catholic Media Association Book Award in Scripture: Academic Studies 3rd Place (2022)
“In Five Models of Scripture Mark Reasoner provides readers with an important and timely book on scriptural interpretation by offering five models for reading and interpreting the Bible. Alongside a wealth of information about scriptural interpretation—its complex history, its nuances, its contemporary implications and significance—he offers practical advice to those in ministry and those studying Scripture in an academic environment. Yet this book is more than a reservoir of information. It is also an invitation to see Scripture as an abundant communal feast that sustains and delights.”
— Lisa M. Bowens
Princeton Theological Seminary
“Mark Reasoner’s Five Models of Scripture is the mature reflection of a man educated in America’s evangelical Protestant commitment to Scripture who converted to a Roman Catholic hermeneutic in which the church’s tradition guides the interpretation of Scripture. Mark’s wonderful book confirms a long-held conviction of mine: had Catholicism always been this committed to Scripture there would never have been a Reformation. Every chapter in this book flows from years of personal Bible reading and the insights gained from classroom teaching.”
— Scot McKnight
Northern Seminary
“This is an ecumenically sensitive presentation of five different models for reading the Bible. Reasoner’s familiarity with a wide range of approaches within the Christian tradition is matched by his deeply respectful approach to positions other than his own. He had my full attention from the first to the last page. This is a work that engages the Christian Bible at the level at which it was written: for instruction regarding how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
— Gary A. Anderson
University of Notre Dame
“If there is a foremost fundamental source that should integrate and reconcile the diverse models of reading and research, it is arguably sacred Scripture. Mark Reasoner has managed to weave together the distinctive paradigms of inspiration and interpretation in the Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions. This book will undoubtedly enrich critical scholarship, seminary instruction, and spiritual formation in ways that shed hardened stereotypes of the past and suggest fresh perspectives for analysis and meditation in the future.”
— John Chryssavgis
theological advisor to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
“This book applies the time-honored tradition of ‘models’ to diverse ways Christians approach the Bible. Using insights from Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox perspectives, as well as the church fathers and the history of interpretation, Reasoner presents a veritable feast of judicious insights, exposing the strengths and limitations of each model. I highly recommend this resource to scholars, pastors, seminarians, and students alike. As with the Scriptures themselves, all can be nourished at this table!”
— Ronald D. Witherup, PSS
superior general of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice
“This book does not present new research, but it is a responsible introduction to the Bible: it balances approaches with ministerial needs and is ideal for both beginners and specialists. . . . Recommended.”
“A refreshing book that draws on years of teaching experience.”
Rory J. Balfour in Reviews in Religion & Theology
“This is a useful resource and I hope it will find an appreciative readership in a wide range of classrooms. The reminder that Scripture is richer than we often realize is always timely and Mark Reasoner gives an elegant account of the ‘sumptuous feast’ of the biblical canon.”
“Reasoner offers his audience a rich supply of resources and insights that will enable them to leave the classroom loving Scripture more than when they entered.”