Seventeen respected colleagues and former students of David C. Steinmetz have contributed to this important collection of essays produced in honor of Steinmetz's sixtieth birthday. The burden of the present volume is to examine the sources and resources and to illustrate the continuities and discontinuities in the exegetical tradition leading into and through the Reformation. Specifically, this collection of essays proposes to highlight the historical context of Reformation exegesis and to describe how a truly contextual understanding signals a highly illuminating turn in Reformation studies.
The three essays included in Part 1 offer background perspectives on Reformation-era exegesis. Richard A. Muller provides background on biblical interpretation in the Reformation from the perspective of the Middle Ages. Karlfried Froelich examines the fourfold exegetical method presented on the eve of the Reformation by Johannes Trithemius. John B. Payne offers a view of Erasmus's exegetical method in its relation to the approaches of Zwingli and Bullinger.
The five essays included in Part 2 explore exegesis and interpretation in the early Reformation.
Kenneth Hagen examines Luther's many approaches to the text of Psalm 116. Carl M. Leth discusses Balthasar Hubmaier's "Catholic" exegesis of the power of the keys in Matthew
16:18-19. Timothy J. Wengert takes on the issue of method, specifically the impact of humanist rhetoric on the exegetical method of Philip Melanchthon. Irena Backus examines Martin Bucer's efforts to make sense of the difficult chronology of John 5-7 in the light of his dialogue with the exegetical tradition. W.P. Stephens addresses Zwingli's understanding of John 6:63, a text crucial to Zwingli's eucharistic debate with Luther.
The seven essays included in Part 3 examine continuity and change in mid-sixteenth-century biblical interpretation. Susan E Schreiner probes Calvin's relation to the sixteenth-century debate regarding the grounds of certainty. Craig S. Farmer examines the exegesis of Bern theologian Wolfgang Musculus against the background of a catena of medieval readings of John 8. Joel E. Kok discusses the question of Bullinger's status as an exegete in relation to Calvin, with a special focus on the exegesis of Romans. John L. Thompson considers the survival of allegorical argumentation in Peter Martyr Vermigli's Old Testament exegesis. Lyle D. Bierma shows a clear relationship between Zacharias Ursinus's exposition of Exodus 20:8-11 and aspects of interpretations offered by Calvin, Vermigli, Bullinger, and Melanchthon. John L Farthing offers a fresh study of Girolamo Zanchi's interpretation of Gomer's harlotry in Hosea 1-3. Robert Kolb considers the doctrine of Christ in Nikolaus Selnecker's interpretation of Psalms 8, 22, and 110.
Following a concluding essay by the editors on the significance of precritical exegesis, the final section of the volume, prepared by Micken L. Mattox, presents an up-to-date bibliography of the writings of David C. Steinmetz.