Privilege the Text! spans the conceptual gap between biblical text and life application by providing a rigorous theological hermeneutic for preaching.
Kuruvilla describes the theological entity that is the intermediary between ancient text and modern audience, and defines its crucial function in determining valid application. Based on this hermeneutic, he submits a new mode of reading Scripture for preaching: a Christiconic interpretation of the biblical text, a hermeneutically robust way to understand the depiction of the Second Person of the Trinity in Scripture.
In addition, Kuruvilla's work provides a substantive theology of spiritual formation through preaching: what it means to obey God, the Christian's responsibility to undertake “faith-full” obedience to divine demand, and the incentives for such obedience—all integral to understanding the sermonic movement from text to application.
Privilege the Text! promises to be useful not only for preachers, and students and teachers of homiletics, but for all who are interested in the exposition of Scripture that culminates in application for the glory of God.
Christian interpreters have placed the sermon or homily at the heart of their practice of scriptural interpretation, yet the move from text to preaching is not a straightforward one …. It requires a theologically- and hermeneutically-informed reflection, lacking in much of the more recent literature in the fields both of homiletics and the theological interpretation of Scripture. It is this lack that Abe Kuruvilla addresses in this thought-provoking and highly original book, which takes as its starting-point the “pericope”—the section of Scripture … on which preaching is based—as the primary form in which the biblical Word is encountered.
Prof. Francis B. Watson
Chair of Biblical Interpretation, Theology and Religion, University of Durham
I commend Abe Kuruvilla's book to you for its intriguing proposal on how better to relate hermeneutics and homiletics. I have read, and benefited from, his earlier book, but this one goes further. In identifying this new ugly ditch, he also makes an original contribution to the theological interpretation of Scripture. Kuruvilla's homiletics rightly emphasizes the theology of the text and the importance of the congregation's response. His focus is squarely on edifying the church. This is a book on preaching rooted in theology rather than communication skills, and for this I am very grateful!
Dr. Kevin J. Vanhoozer
Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
This is a magnificent work, showing us how to move from the then of the text to the nowof the audience. . . . Kuruvilla repeatedly demonstrates how paying attention to the details of the text leads
to the underlying truth that spans all generations. His discussion of how all parts of the law—civil,
moral, and ceremonial—are applicable today is worth the price of the book. You will understand
your task as a preacher as never before and find yourself with a renewed excitement for it.
Donald R. Sunukjian
Professor of Preaching
Chair, Department of Christian Ministry and Leadership,
Talbot School of Theology,
Biola University, La Mirada, California
Finally, a book on the hermeneutics of preaching from the Old Testament that takes the biblical
texts seriously. Responding to many approaches that pay lip service to authorial intent in Old Testament texts but then quickly impose typological and christocentric meanings on them, Kuruvilla
asks seriously what biblical authors were doing with their words. With patience and great skill he
guides us in how we may first interpret biblical texts to discover their intended meaning, and then
he explains how the message of those texts is authoritative for Christian readers. This is the best
book on preaching on the Old Testament to come out in a long time.
Daniel I. Block
Gunther H. Knoedler, Professor of Old Testament
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois