A Preacher’s Library  for Biblical Interpretation


Twenty volumes for consideration

as suggested by Gregory Heille, O.P.

in consultation with Aquinas Advanced Preaching students

October 2002


Adam, A. K. M., ed. Handbook of Postmodern Biblical Interpretation. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000. ISBN 0827229712.


Detailed introductions to key figures such as Derrida, Bakhtin, and Irigaray join with rich explanation of key concepts such as deconstruction, intertextuality, and ideology. The book will be especially useful as an introduction to the field for those who know little about postmodern interpretation and want to find out more.


Bergant, Dianne, with Richard Fragomeni. Preaching the New Lectionary: Year A. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2001. ISBN 0814624723.


__________. Preaching the New Lectionary: Year B. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999. ISBN 0814624731.


__________. Preaching the New Lectionary: Year C. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2000. ISBN 081462474X.


These commentaries are a literary-liturgical reading of the four lections, including the psalm response, of each Sunday and major feast of the liturgical cycle. They explicitly situate the interpretation of each day within the theology of its respective liturgical season, as drawn from the specific themes of the readings of that particular year rather than from general theological themes otherwise associated with the season.


Brown, Raymond, et al., eds. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Ingelwood Cliffs NH: Prentice Hall, 1990. ISBN 0138598363.


This is perhaps the most well known and used one-volume historical-critical commentary for Catholic preachers. It presents moderately detailed line-by-line commentary on each biblical book and also contains good introductory articles to each book and overview articles on many historical and theological topics. While providing good, concise historical-critical information, pastoral applications are limited.


Coogan, Michael D., Mark Zvi Brettler, Pheme Perkins, and Carol A. Newsom, eds. New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha:  New Revised Standard Version. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0195284801.


This hardcover Bible is one of several editions of the New Revised Standard Version translation, widely used by students of the Bible. In Bible study, it is always beneficial to study other translations, as well. The following interlinear Greek/NRSV New Testament also is recommended:


Douglas J. D., ed., and Philip W. Comfort (trans.). New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament: New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Carol Stream IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1993. ISBN 0842345647.


Farmer, William R., Ed.  The International Bible Commentary: A Catholic and Ecumenical Commentary for the Twenty-first Century.  Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1998. ISBN 0814624545.


In Spanish: Comentario Biblico Internacional: Comentario Catolico y Ecumenico Para El Siglo XXI. Navarra: Editorial Verbo Divino, 1999. ISBN 0814625614


Taking its inspiration from the Second Vatican Council, this commentary seeks to be ecumenical and culturally diverse in scope while remaining faithful to the scriptural teachings of the Catholic Church. It seeks to provide a resource useful to the universal Church. An international group of scholars contributed a selection of general and personal articles in addition to Old and New Testament commentaries.


González, Justo L., and Catherine G. González.  The Liberating Pulpit.  Nashville:  Abingdon Press, 1994. ISBN 9780687338443.


The authors teach preachers how to make use of historical typologies or trajectories in Scripture that parallel the stories of oppressed communities where they live and work.


Kingsbury, Jack Dean, Ed.  Gospel Interpretation:  Narrative-Critical and Social-Scientific Approaches.  Harrisburg PA: Trinity Press International, 1997. ISBN 1563382148.


An array of New Testament scholars here document the profound shift in Gospel research away from narrow preoccupation with traditional historical questions and toward investigation of the literary dimensions of the Gospels. The contributors focus on the plot, characters, and theological themes, and points of view peculiar to Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John and on the societal and cultural milieu in which each of the original Gospel audiences was at home.


Malina, Bruce J., and Richard Rohrbaugh.  Social Science Commentary on the Gospel of John.  Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998. ISBN 0800629922.


__________. Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels.  Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994. ISBN 0800625625.


When readers are separated from the social world of the author, miscommunication occurs. Historical methods of Biblical interpretation have been helpful in narrowing the gap between the modern reader and ancient authors but have concentrated only on distinctive events and ideas. The social-scientific approach employed in this commentary focuses on social phenomena that have persisted for centuries.


Reid, Barbara E.  Parables for Preachers: The Gospel of Matthew, Year A.  Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2001. ISBN 0814625509.


__________. Parables for Preachers: The Gospel of Mark, Year B.  Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999. ISBN 0814625517.


__________. Parables for Preachers: The Gospel of Luke, Year C.  Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2000. ISBN 0814625525.


Reid looks at the parables for the Gospel of each year in the order in which they appear in the lectionary, looking at the literary context and structure and then analyzing the narrative scenes of the texts. Each parable concludes with a section on preaching possibilities.


Ringe, Sharon H., and Carol A. Newsom, eds.  Women’s Bible Commentary.  Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. ISBN 066425781X.


This commentary gathers the work of many women scholars who offer a general introduction for each book of the Bible and then focus on portions that deal with female characters, symbols, marriage and family, the legal status of women, and religious principles that affect relationships of women and men.


Schneiders, Sandra M. The Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture. 2nd ed. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999. ISBN 0814659438.

In this new edition of her major study of the New Testament, Schneiders proposes a  comprehensive hermeneutical theory for New Testament interpretation, which takes full account of the Bible as both sacred Scripture and as a historical-literary classic. Designed to spur reflection on the role of Scripture as revelatory text in the life of the Church and in the lives of individual believers, Schneiders shows that an integral hermeneutical theory can ground a transformational hermeneutical praxis to make the biblical text available as a faith resource to the oppressed as well as to the privileged.

Segovia, Fernando F. Decolonizing Biblical Studies: A View from the Margins. Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books, 2000. ISBN 1570753385.

Over the last quarter of a century the field of biblical studies has seen radical changes in the conception, practice, and teaching of biblical criticism. Here, Segovia analyzes the models and practices at work in biblical criticism and pedagogy, in particular the emerging voices of the non-Western world. By exploring the principles that underlie all contextual readings of scripture—Hispanic/Latino(a), Black, feminist, and Third World—he offers a challenge to the dominant paradigms of biblical interpretation.

Van Harn, Roger. The Lectionary Commentary: Theological Exegesis for Sunday’s Texts. 3 vols. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2001. ISBN (3 vol. set) 0814624545.


__________. The Lectionary Commentary, the First Readings: Theological Exegesis for Sunday’s Texts; the Old Testament and Acts, Vol. 1. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001. ISBN 080284751X.


__________. The Lectionary Commentary, the Second Readings: Theological Exegesis for Sunday’s Texts; Acts and the Epistles, Vol. 2. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001. ISBN 0802847528.


__________. The Lectionary Commentary, the Third Readings: Theological Exegesis for Sunday’s Texts; the Gospels, Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001. ISBN 0802847536.

This extraordinarily useful three-volume commentary gathers exegetical essays on 513 biblical texts from the Revised Common Lectionary spanning the three-year liturgical cycle. The three volumes are organized according to the First, Second, and Gospel lections for each Sunday. A broad range of hermeneutical approaches are employed in a manner ecumenically accessible to preachers.