The Joseph Sittler Archives — The Expanding Scope of Grace
The Joseph Sittler Archives — The Expanding Scope of Grace
IntroductionAbout SittlerBy SittlerTopicsMultimediaDiscussionCatalogueMake a Gift

Biblical Interpretation

HomeSite MapContact Us


Interpreting the Bible “is an effort to go from a profound understanding of the livingness, the fruitfulness, the vitality of the present Word of God behind, in, through, under the text and to work with the written text in such a way that it intersects each new time with its vitality and its truth” (Running with the Hounds). With these words Joseph Sittler enunciates his life-long work of intersecting “each new time” with the power of Scripture. He respected scholarly approaches to the Bible, and he utilized them at every turn. His top priority, however, was the preaching and teaching of the Bible. The Bible carries the Word of God, which Sittler understood to be “always a living encounter with the awesome reality of God.” He often referred to the thought of philosopher Paul Ricoeur, who said that “when a text becomes a written text, it takes off and establishes a trajectory.” The most important thing about the Bible is not what it meant in its original context, but what it can mean today and in the future. He emphasized the “ductility” and “evocative” character of language, particularly biblical language. His goal was to be an agent of this evocative future-oriented trajectory of the biblical message.

A sample of materials on Biblical Interpretation available from the Archives

  • “How to Read a Parable” (Published in The Care of the Earth, Fortress Press Facets Edition, 2004), Book

  • Sermon on Romans VIII (Augustana Church, Chicago), Audiotape (7/13, 20, 27/75)




Free Downloads!

The Anguish of Preaching by Joseph Sittler

Copyright © Joseph Sittler Archives Committee, a cooperative ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago