Theological Interpretation of the NT….Book by Book?

As the hermeneutical approach labelled ‘theological intepretation’ (TI) grows at a rapid rate, there is a burgeoning need to really get a sense for not only what it is theoretically, but also understand how it aids a reading of the Bible in real practice. In theory, TI is an approach that is meant to criticize traditional modernistic historical (and often secular) approaches that keep ‘theology’ at a distance. Also, theological interpretation tends to focus on the canonical shape of the texts and how individual books speak to one another and together as one voice. Finally, TI, it seems, urges an approach that accepts multiple meanings in the text (but not necessarily accepting that it can mean anything).

On a more practical level, then, SPCK (in the UK) and Baker (in the US) have teamed up in the editorial hands of Vanhoozer, Treier, and (NT) Wright, to offer Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey (December 2008). What is offered, obviously, is a book-by-book TI approach to the New Testament with individual chapters penned by various TI-approved scholars. And what a group! Here is a sampling

Acts – Steve Walton

1 Corinthians- David Garland

Galatians – John Riches

Ephesians – Max Turner

Philippians – NT Wright

Colossians – Sylvia Keesmaat

1-2 Thessalonians – Charles Wanamaker

Pastorals – IH Marshall

Johannine Ep – IH Marshall

2 Peter – Peter Davids

The book is not long (less than 250 pages). So, don’t expect a lot of detail. Nevertheless, this looks like it will have a lot of potential in applying TI to the NT texts and seeing what all the fuss is about.  From the searchability on Amazon, I can see that it looks not dissimilar to the kinds of ideas and approaches in the TWO HORIZONS commentary series, though there is no formal link.  Once I get my hands on the book, I will do a more thorough report.