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Shaping the Scriptural Imagination
Truth, Meaning, and the Theological Interpretation of the Bible
By Donald H. Juel Edited by Shane Berg and Matthew L. Skinner
The late Donald H. Juel (1942–2003) devoted his life to engaging scripture faithfully, intelligently, and imaginatively. For Juel, theological interpretation of the Bible meant having an encounter with the living God. This volume identifies and connects many of the overarching themes that animated Juel's work. Including his thoughts on the rhetorical nature of scripture, the challenges facing academic instruction of the Bible, the reader's place in the biblical narrative, and the hope of resurrection, among others, the selections are accessible and engaging and paint a unique portrait of the way Juel thought and lived. Juel seeks to nourish readers in developing richer imaginations about who God is and how Christians meet God through reading the Bible.
Introduction: Donald Juel's Scriptural Imagination
Matthew W. Skinner
1 "Your Word Is Truth": Some Reflections on a Hard Saying
2 The Strange Silence of the Bible
3 A Disquieting Silence: The Matter of Mark's Ending
4 Interpretation for Christian Ministry
5 Hearing Peter's Speech in Acts 3: Meaning and Truth in Interpretation
6 Interpreting Israel's Scriptures in the New Testament
7 The Trinity and the New Testament
8 Interpreting Mark's Gospel
1 John 14:25-27 and John 16:13
2 Luke 23:34
3 Luke 14:15-24
4 2 Corinthians 10:1-6
5 Mark 14:53-65
6 Psalm 139
7 Mark 16:9-20
8 Galatians 4:9-11
Conclusion: Donald Juel and the Practice of Reading the Bible in the Church's Everyday Life
Index of Scripture and Ancient Sources
Index of Authors
"An inspiring read for those whose passion, like Juel’s, is for God and for the Bible as God’s living, unsettling address."
—Janet Soskice, Professor of Philosophical Theology and Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge
"This collection shows Juel at his very best. Here you will find a humble and very much real Christian."
—Alan F. Segal (1945–2011) was Professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish Studies, Barnard College
"This book is a fitting tribute to a master scholar and teacher, but more importantly, it is a fitting reminder for all of us who read the Bible. What Juel encourages, and what clearly comes through in this collection, is the need for Christians to read Scripture together faithfully, intelligently, and imaginatively."
—Mark Vitalis Hoffman, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology (68:2)
"… filled with literary and hermeneutical jewels form the first chapter to the sermons…. Juel's advice to the Bible reader who does not know the biblical languages is priceless…. The spirituality of the author permeates almost every page."
—James Henry Harris, Homiletic (2012, 37:1)
“Juel’s work went beyond the historical, linguistic, and literary scholarship that is foundational to the academic training that biblical scholars receive.
—Ernest van Eck, University of Pretoria, Review of Biblical Literature (2013, 4)
"Few persons have taught us [how] to read Scripture as well as Donald Juel. His passion for the text is everywhere apparent as he teaches us to risk seeing the text differently. No one has brought that narrative to life better than this faithful servant. These essays and sermons are an enduring legacy of great value."
—Patrick D. Miller, Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary
"Across the years of his much too short career, Juel demonstrated that reading scripture in Christian communities is an endlessly intriguing, bewildering, and nurturing journey. This book will refresh the minds of those who studied alongside him and invite a new generation of interpreters to pack their bags and travel along with him."
—Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Helen H.P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Princeton Theological Seminary
Donald H. Juel was Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary (1978–1995) and Princeton Theological Seminary (1995–2003). Renowned among his students and colleagues as a captivating teacher, Juel dedicated himself to helping people discover God and God’s mysteries through their attentive, honest engagement with Scripture.
Shane Berg is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey.
Matthew L. Skinner is Associate Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.