How to Read the Bible in Changing Times: Understanding and Applying God’s Word Today

Baker, 2011
ISBN: 9780801072833


How can words written thousands of years ago in different times and cultures apply to us today? Why do Christians obey certain commands in the Bible and ignore others? Some say commands to greet one another with a kiss or not to eat pork are merely “cultural” but then insist that commands related to divorce, homosexuality, or the roles of women and men apply for all time. Are we just picking and choosing what we want to obey and what we want to ignore? Or are there consistent principles for interpreting and applying the Bible?

How to Read the Bible in Changing Times shows you how to interpret and apply the Scriptures regardless of time and culture. It develops a heart-of-God approach that provides guidelines to

  • Determine the meaning of the text in its original context
  • Analyze cultural features
  • Discern what the Bible teaches about God, his will, and his purposes
  • Apply the truths discovered to contemporary life situations

If you have ever struggled to see the connection between this ancient document and your world today, you will treasure this insightful book.

Whether you’re a student, a pastor, or a layperson, this volume provokes you to read the Bible honestly—to let it surprise, challenge, and correct you as you apply the many steps of interpretation. By using the tools included in this volume, you’ll approach Bible study with more depth and understanding. Integrate the practical methods found in this collection with your preferred Bible, the Passage Guide, and the other Bible-study tools in Logos Bible Software—and then dive into Bible study with a vast knowledge base right before your eyes.

Key Features

  • Emphasizes the importance of understanding the Bible in its original contexts
  • Illustrates various ways Scripture has been misinterpreted
  • Shows how to apply Scripture’s wisdom in the modern context


  • Introduction: The Unchanging Word in a Changing World
  • What the Bible Is Not
  • What the Bible Is
  • A Heart-of-God Hermeneutic: Walking with God in His Story
  • Seeking the Heart of God in Dialogue: Tradition, Community, and the Spirit
  • Finding the Heart of God in the Diverse Genres of the Old Testament
  • Finding the Heart of God in the Diverse Genres of the New Testament
  • When Cultures Collide: Discerning the Heart of God in Cultural Context

Praise for the Print Edition

With a keen scholar’s mind, a pastor’s compassionate heart, and a teacher’s clarity, Mark Strauss has penned a much-needed resource for understanding the Bible today. Your study of Scripture will be enriched and enhanced by this valuable book!

Lee Strobel, author, journalist, pastor

The books on how to interpret the Bible are many. Some are so technical that their readership is severely limited; others are so popular that their accuracy and depth are sacrificed for easy rhetoric. Mark Strauss weaves his way between these two extremes to give us a book that is careful, understated, and filled with a great deal of good sense. No one will agree with everything he has written: the subject is too complex for that. But this is a good place to start.

D.A. Carson, research professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Product Details

About Mark L. Strauss

Mark L. Strauss (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary. He is the author of several books, including Distorting Scripture? The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender Accuracy and Four Portraits, One Jesus. His professional associations include the Evangelical Theological Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature. He lives in California.


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