Bernard Ramm

Recommendation:   4/5

Description of author:  Bernard Ramm (1916-1992), taught systematic theology for many years (1958-74; 1978-86) at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Covina, California.  He wrote 18 books and numerous articles on theology and apologetics.

Comments:  This is a good, college level, introduction to hermeneutics – the science of Biblical interpretation.  In the introduction he defines hermeneutics and explains its great importance.  In chapter 2 he reviews the various schools of interpretation through church history.  He outlines the hermeneutical principles of, among others, Augustine, Luther, Neo-Orthodoxy and Liberalism.  The bulk of the rest of the volume is then used to outline the principles of Protestant hermeneutics beginning with the more general, theological principles and moving toward the more specific rules regarding lexical and grammatical study.  The last three chapters are devoted to the special cases of types, prophecy, and parables.  The strength of this book is its lucid outline.  But being written 30 years ago, it does not address some of the current issues in Biblical hermeneutics.  At the end of each section he includes a helpful bibliography (although, again it is dated).  Name, Scripture and subject indexes make it easy to use for reference.