I mentioned this very useful book in a comment the other day. It really is a most helpful introduction to the subject of Biblical interpretation, and will be of benefit to everyone, even non-Methodists who wouldn’t touch black pudding with a barge pole! I’m delighted to say that the book’s author, Stephen Dawes (who had the misfortune of teaching me Old Testament a few years ago) has given me permission to make an electronic version available through this website for free download.
Here are a few words from the introduction to give you a flavour:
In this book I look at how the Bible is used in the Methodist Church today, and what authority it now has for us. But before we can look at that question it is necessary to look closely at the Bible itself, at what it is and what it isn’t, and at how it came to us. For any belief about the place which the Bible ought to have in the Church, or about its inspiration and authority must begin from the Bible itself, and must take the Bible as it is very seriously. And I hope that taking the Bible seriously is what I do throughout this little book.
If by any chance you are not a Methodist but have got this far, I hope you won’t stop reading now. I am a Methodist, writing for Methodists and using Methodist illustrations, but the issue of the place and authority of the Bible is one that every denomination of the Christian Church is having to face up to today. I guarantee that my illustrations will not be very far from what is happening in your Church too. This issue affects us all.
I really can’t commend this highly enough, and I feel very privileged to offer it to you.