Biblical Bibliographies
Charles Conroy []

History of Biblical Interpretation
An Introductory General Bibliography

What follows is a highly selective list of titles chosen to help readers enter the enormous field of the history of biblical interpretation. Hence overview-type works are preferred and monographic studies of particular interpreters or schools or of individual works are not listed. In general, more recent works are preferred to older ones.

The bibliography is divided into two parts with eight main sections as follows:

A.   Works covering multiple periods in the history of interpretation

B.   Works focused on specific periods in the history of interpretation

A.   Works covering multiple periods in the history of interpretation

I.    Reference works

Klauck, H.-J. – B. McGinn – C.-L. Seow – H. Spieckermann – B. D. Walfish – E. Ziolkowski (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin & New York: De Gruyter, 2009ff). [the editors listed above were responsible for vols. 1-4 of the work; there were various changes in the editorial board in later volumes; as of April 2023 twenty volumes have been published out of the projected thirty.]

McKim, D. K. (ed.), Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic; Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 2007).

Wischmeyer, O. (ed.), in Verbindung mit E.-M. Becker – H.-P. Großhans – M. W. Elliott – L. Hell – K. Pollmann – T. Prügl – M. Schröter – A. Schubert, Handbuch der Bibelhermeneutiken: Von Origenes bis zur Gegenwart (De Gruyter Handbook; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016).

II.   Single-author works

Bray, G., Biblical Interpretation Past and Present (Leicester: Apollos; Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1996).

Gibert, P., Petite histoire de l'exégèse biblique (Lire la Bible, 94; Paris: Cerf. 1992).

Grant, R. – D. Tracy, A Short History of Interpretation of the Bible. Second edition, revised and enlarged (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984). First edition by R. Grant alone, [same title], (New York: Macmillan, 1948). French translation of the first edition: L'interprétation de la Bible des origines chrétiennes à nos jours (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1967).

Preus, J. S., From Shadow to Promise: Old Testament Interpretation from Augustine to the Young Luther (Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969).

Reventlow, H. Graf, Epochen der Bibelauslegung. Band 1: Vom Alten Testament bis Origenes. Band 2: Von der Spätantike bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters. Band 3: Renaissance, Reformation, Humanismus. Band 4: Vom der Aufklärung bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (München: Beck, 1990 / 1994 / 1997 / 2001).
Italian version: Storia dell'interpretazione biblica. Vol. 1: Dall'Antico Testamento a Origene. Vol. 2: Dalla tarda antichità alla fine del Medioevo. Vol. 3: Rinascimento, Riforma, Umanesimo. Vol. 4: Dall'Illuminismo fino al XX secolo (Casale Monferrato [AL]: Piemme, 1999 [vol. 1-3] / 2004 [vol. 4]).
English version: History of Biblical Interpretation. Vol. 1: From the Old Testament to Origen. Vol. 2: From Late Antiquity to the End of the Middle Ages. Vol. 3: Renaissance, Reformation, Humanism. Vol. 4: From the Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century (SBLRBS 50 / 61 / 62 / 63; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009 [vol. 1-2] / 2010 [vol. 3-4]) [The English version was also published in hardback at Leiden by Brill (vol. 1 & 2 in 2009; vol. 3 & 4 in 2011)]

Schäfer, R., Die Bibelauslegung in der Geschichte der Kirche (Studienbücher Theologie; Gütersloh: Mohn, 1980).

Yarchin, W., History of Biblical Interpretation: A Reader (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004).

III.   Multi-author collections

1.   BTT: Bible de tous les temps

Mondésert, C. (ed.), Le monde grec ancien et la Bible (BTT 1; Paris: Beauchesne, 1984). English adaptation and revision: Blowers, P. M. (ed. and trans.), The Bible in Greek Christian Antiquity (The Bible through the Ages, 1; Notre Dame, IN : University of Notre Dame Press, 1997) [the English edition includes four new studies not in the original French edition].

Fontaine, J. – C. Piétri (eds.), Le monde latin antique et la Bible (BTT 2; Paris: Beauchesne, 1985)

La Bonnardière, A.-M. (ed.), Saint Augustin et la Bible (BTT 3; Paris: Beauchesne, 1986). English version: Augustine and the Bible. Ed. and trans. by Pamela Bright (The Bible through the Ages, 2; Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999).

Riché, P. – G. Lobrichon (eds.), Le Moyen Age et la Bible (BTT 4; Paris: Beauchesne, 1984).

Bedouelle, G. – B. Roussel (eds.), Le temps des Réformes et la Bible (BTT 5; Paris: Beauchesne, 1989).

Armogathe, J.-R. (ed.), Le Grand Siècle et la Bible (BTT 6; Paris: Beauchesne, 1989).

Belaval, Y. – D. Bourel (eds.), Le siècle des Lumières et la Bible (BTT 7; Paris: Beauchesne, 1986).

Savart, C. – J.-N. Aletti (eds.), Le monde contemporain et la Bible (BTT 8; Paris: Beauchesne, 1985).

2.   BW: Bible and Women (an international series in four languages)

In view of the large number of volumes in this series, the titles are listed in a separate bibliography here.

3.   CHB: Cambridge History of the Bible

a)   Original edition

Ackroyd, P. R. – C. F. Evans (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 1: From the Beginnings to Jerome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970).

Lampe, G. W. H. (ed.), The Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 2: The West from the Fathers to the Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969).

Greenslade, S. L. (ed.), The Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 3: The West from the Reformation to the Present Day (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963).

b)   New edition

Carleton Paget, J. – J. Schaper (eds.), The New Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 1: From the Beginnings to 600 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Marsden, R. – E. A. Matter (eds.), The New Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 2: From 600 to 1450 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Cameron, E. (ed.), The New Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 3: From 1450 to 1750 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Riches, J. (ed.), The New Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 4: From 1750 to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

4.   HBI: A History of Biblical Interpretation

Hauser, A. J. – D. F. Watson (eds.), A History of Biblical Interpretation. Vol. 1: The Ancient Period. Vol. 2: The Medieval through the Reformation Periods. Vol. 3: The Enlightenment through the Nineteenth Century (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003 / 2009 / 2017).

5.   HBOT: Hebrew Bible / Old Testament

Sæbø, M. (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Volume I: From the Beginning to the Middle Ages (Until 1300). Part 1: Antiquity. In co-operation with C. Brekelmans and M. Haran (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996).

Sæbø, M. (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Volume I: From the Beginning to the Middle Ages (Until 1300). Part 2: The Middle Ages. In co-operation with C. Brekelmans and M. Haran (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000).

Sæbø, M. (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Volume II: From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. In co-operation with M. Fishbane and J. L. Ska (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008).

Sæbø, M. (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Volume III: From Modernism to Post-Modernism (The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries). Part I: The Nineteenth Century – a Century of Modernism and Historicism. In co-operation with P. Machinist and J. L. Ska (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013).

Sæbø, M. (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Volume III: From Modernism to Post-Modernism (The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries). Part II: The Twentieth Century – from Modernism to Post-Modernism. In co-operation with P. Machinist and J. L. Ska (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015).

IV.   Works specifically on Jewish interpretation

Liss, H., Jüdische Bibelauslegung (Uni-Taschenbücher, 5135 / Jüdische Studien, 4; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020).

Sierra, S. J. (ed.), La lettura ebraica delle Scritture. 2a edizione, rivista e corretta (La Bibbia nella storia, 18; Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 1996). [first ed. 1995]

V.   Works specifically on NT interpretation

Baird, W., History of New Testament Research. Vol. One: From Deism to Tübingen. Vol. Two: From Jonathan Edwards to Rudolf Bultmann. Vol. Three: From C. H. Dodd to Hans Dieter Betz (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1992 / 2003 / 2013).

Kümmel, W. G., Das Neue Testament: Geschichte der Erforschung seiner Probleme. 2., überarbeitete und ergänzte Auflage (Orbis Academicus, 3; Freiburg & München: Alber, 1970) [first ed. 1958].
English version: The New Testament: The History of the Investigation of its Problems (Nashville, TN & New York: Abingdon, 1972).
Italian version: Il Nuovo Testamento: storia dell'indagine scientifica sul problema neotestamentario. Prefazione di Mauro Pesce (Studi religiosi, 13; Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 1976). Ristampa con una Postfazione di Rinaldo Fabris (Economica EDB, 14; Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 2010).

Kümmel, W. G., Das Neue Testament im 20. Jahrhundert: ein Forschungsbericht (SBS 50; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1970).

Neill, S., The Interpretation of the New Testament 1861-1961. The Firth Lectures, 1962 (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1964).

Neill, S. – T. Wright, The Interpretation of the New Testament, 1861–1986. Second edition (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).

B.   Works focused on specific periods in the history of interpretation
[here too monographic studies on particular authors, schools, or works are not included]

I.    Up to the mid-8th cent.

Blowers, P. M. – P. W. Martens (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation (Oxford Handbooks; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

Di Berardino, A. (ed.), Nuovo dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiane: Institutum patristicum augustinianum, Roma. Seconda edizione aggiornata e aumentata. 4 vol. (Genova & Milano: Marietti, 2006-2010). [Details: vol. 1 A-E (2006); vol. 2 F-O (2007); vol. 3 P-Z (2008); vol. 4 Tavole cronologiche e sinottiche, indice analitico, carta delle principali sedi episcopali nel tardo antico (2010).]

Di Berardino, A. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity. Produced by the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum. General Editor Angelo Di Berardino. Consulting Editors Thomas C. Oden, Joel Elowsky. Project Editor James Hoover. 3 vol. (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014). [a revised and expanded English edition of the preceding Italian work]

Fiedrowicz, M., Prinzipien der Schriftauslegung in der Alten Kirche (Traditio christiana. Texte und Kommentare zur patristischen Theologie, 10; Bern: Peter Lang, 1998). French version: Principes de l'interprétation de l'Écriture dans l'Église ancienne (Traditio christiana: Thèmes et documents patristiques, 10; Bern: Peter Lang, 1998).

Froehlich, K. (trans. and ed.), Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church (Sources of Early Christian Thought; Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1984).

Henne, P., La Bible et les Pères: parcours historique de l'utilisation des Écritures dans les premiers siècles de l'Église (Initiations aux Pères de l'Église; Paris: Cerf, 2010).

Kannengiesser, C., Handbook of Patristic Exegesis. The Bible in Ancient Christianity. With special contributions by various scholars. 2 vol. (The Bible in Ancient Christianity, 1; Leiden: Brill, 2004). [reprinted in one volume in 2006]

Kugel, J. L. – R. A. Greer, Early Biblical Interpretation (Library of Early Christianity, 3; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986). [Kugel deals with the beginnings of Jewish exegesis up to the early midrashim; Greer with the first four centuries of Christian interpretation.]

Margerie, B. de, Introduction à l'histoire de l'exégèse. I. Les Pères grecs et orientaux. / II. Les premiers grands exégètes latins. / III. Saint Augustine. / IV. L'Occident latin de Léon le Grand à Bernard de Clairvaux (Initiations; Paris: Cerf, 1980 / 1983 / 1983 / 1990).
Italian version: Introduzione alla storia dell'esegesi. 1. I padri greci e orientali. 2. I primi grandi esegeti latini. 3. S. Agostino. Edizione italiana a cura di Elio Peretto, Giorgio Maschio, Vittorino Grossi (Cultura cristiana antica. Studi; Roma: Borla, 1983 / 1984 / 1986) [the 4th French volume was not translated into Italian].
English version: An Introduction to the History of Exegesis. Vol. 1: The Greek Fathers. Preface by Ignace de la Potterie. / Vol. 2: The Latin Fathers. Preface by M.-J. Rondeau. Vol. 3: Saint Augustine. Introduction by Allan Fitzgerald; foreword by Anne-Marie La Bonnardière (Petersham, MA: Saint Bede's Publications, 1991 / 1994 / 1995) [the 4th French volume was not translated into English].

Simonetti, M., Profilo storico dell'esegesi patristica (Sussidi patristici, 1; Roma: Istituto Patristico Augustinianum, 1981).
English version: Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church: An Historical Introduction to Patristic Exegesis. Editors Anders Bergquist and Markus Bockmuehl. Consultant Editor William Horbury (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1994).

Simonetti, M., Lettera e/o allegoria: un contributo alla storia dell'esegesi patristica (Studia Ephemeridis "Augustinianum", 23; Roma: Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, 1985).

Trigg, J. W., Biblical Interpretation (Message of the Fathers of the Church, 9; Wilmington, DE: Glazier, 1988).

Young, F. M., Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). Reprinted [same title] (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002).

II.   From the mid-8th to the mid-15th cent.

Cremascoli, G. – C. Leonardi (eds.), La Bibbia nel Medioevo (La Bibbia nella storia, 16; Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 1996).

Dahan, G., L'exégèse chrétienne de la Bible en Occident médiéval, XIIe-XIVe siècle (Patrimoines – Christianisme; Paris: Cerf, 1999).

Evans, G. R., The Language and Logic of the Bible: The Earlier Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

Evans, G. R., The Language and Logic of the Bible: The Road to Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

Levy, I. C., Introducing Medieval Biblical Interpretation: The Senses of Scripture in Premodern Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018).

Liere, F. van, An Introduction to the Medieval Bible (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Lubac, H. de, Exégèse médiévale: Les quatre sens de l'Écriture. Ière partie, Livres I-II; IIème partie, Livre I ; IIème partie, Livre II (Théologie 41/1-2, 42, 59; Paris: Aubier-Montaigne, 1959 / 1961 / 1964).
Italian version: Esegesi medievale: i quattro sensi della Scrittura. 4 vol. (Già e non ancora, 137, 156, 325, 404 / Henri de Lubac, Opera omnia V: Scrittura ed Eucarestia, 17-20; Milano: Jaca Book, 1986 / 1988 / 1996 / 2006).
English version (incomplete): Medieval Exegesis: The Four Senses of Scripture. 3 vol. (Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998 / 2000 / 2009).

Ocker, C., Biblical Poetics before Humanism and Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Smalley, B., The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages. Revised third edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983). [first ed.: Oxford: Clarendon, 1941; second revised and expanded edition Oxford: Blackwell, 1952; the third ed., which was reprinted in 1984, has a new Preface discussing work since 1952 (vii-xvii) and a new Bibliography (xix-xxvi)].
Italian versions: Lo studio della Bibbia nel Medioevo (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1972) [translation of the second English edition); Lo studio della Bibbia nel Medioevo. Terza edizione. A cura di Gian Luca Potestà (Economica EDB; Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 2008) [translation of the third English edition].

Spicq, C., Esquisse d'une histoire de l'exégèse Latine au moyen âge (Bibliothèque Thomiste, 26; Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1944).

III.   From the mid-15th cent. to the present

Addinall, P., Philosophy and Biblical Interpretation: A Study in Nineteenth-Century Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Backus, I. – F. M. Higman (eds.), Théorie et pratique de l'exégèse. Actes du troisième colloque international sur l'exégèse biblique au XVIe siècle (Genève, 31 août - 2 sept. 1988) (Etudes de philologie et d'histoire, 43; Geneva: Droz, 1990).

Bechtoldt, H.-J., Die jüdische Bibelkritik im 19. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1995).

Berger, K., Exegese und Philosophie (SBS 123/124; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1986).

Cameron, N. M. de S., Biblical Higher Criticism and the Defence of Infallibilism in 19th Century Britain (Texts and Studies in Religion, 33; Lewiston & Queenston: Edwin Mellen, 1987).

Drury, J. (ed.), Critics of the Bible 1724-1873 (Cambridge English Prose Texts; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

Fabris, R. (ed.), La Bibbia nell'epoca moderna e contemporanea (La Bibbia nella storia, 17 / L'uso della Bibbia, 4; Bologna; Edizioni Dehoniane, 1992).

Fogarty, G. P., American Catholic Biblical Scholarship: A History from the Early Republic to Vatican II (SBL Confessional Perspective Series; San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989).

Frei, H. W., The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974).

Gibert, P., L'invention critique de la Bible: XVe-XVIIIe siècle (Bibliothèque des histoires; Paris: Gallimard, 2010).

Gignilliat, M. S., A Brief History of Old Testament Criticism: From Benedict Spinoza to Brevard Childs (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012).

Griffiths, R. (ed.), The Bible in the Renaissance. Essays on Biblical Commentary and Translation in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History; Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001).

Hahn, S. W. – B. Wiker, Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture, 1300–1700 (New York: Crossroad, 2013).

Harrisville, R. A. – W. Sundberg, The Bible in Modern Culture: Baruch Spinoza to Brevard Childs. Expanded second edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002). [first ed. 1995, with the title: The Bible in Modern Culture: Theology and Historical-Critical Method from Spinoza to Käsemann]

Knight, A., The Dark Bible: Cultures of Interpretation in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022).

Kraus, H.-J., Geschichte der historisch-kritischen Erforschung des Alten Testaments. 3., erweiterte Auflage (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1982). Second ed. [same title] 1969. First ed.: Geschichte der historisch-kritischen Erforschung des Alten Testaments von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart (Neukirchen Kreis Moers: Erziehungsvereins, 1956).
Italian translation (from the second German ed. of 1969): L'Antico Testamento nella ricerca storico-critica dalla Riforma ad oggi (Collana di studi religiosi; Bologna: Il Mulino, 1975).

Laplanche, F., La Bible en France entre mythe et critique, XVIe–XIXe siècle (L'évolution de l'humanité; Paris: Albin Michel, 1994).

Michel, K.-H., Anfänge der Bibelkritik. Quellentexte aus Orthodoxie und Aufklärung (Wuppertal: Brockhaus, 1985).

Muller, R. A. – J. L. Thompson (eds.), Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation: Essays Presented to David C. Steinmetz in Honor of his Sixtieth Birthday (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996).

O'Neill, J. C., The Bible's Authority: A Portrait Gallery of Thinkers from Lessing to Bultmann (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1991).

Reventlow, H. Graf, Bibelautorität und Geist der Moderne. Die Bedeutung des Bibelverständnisses für die geistesgeschichtliche und politische Entwicklung in England von der Reformation bis zur Aufklärung (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1980).
Revised English edition: The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modern World (London: SCM, 1984). [The English version has many expansions in the notes; it amounts "in many respects... to a second edition" (p. ix)]

Reventlow, H. Graf – W. Sparn – J. D. Woodbridge (eds.), Historische Kritik und biblischer Kanon in der deutschen Aufklärung: [Vorträge gehalten anläßlich des 18. Wolfenbütteler Symposions vom 10. bis 14. Dez. 1985 in der Herzog-August-Bibliothek] (Wolfenbütteler Forschungen, 41; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1988).

Rogerson, J. W., Old Testament Criticism in the Nineteenth Century: England and Germany (London: SPCK, 1984; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985).

Scholder, K., Ursprünge und Probleme der historisch-kritischen Theologie: ein Beitrag zur Entstehung der historisch-kritischen Theologie (Forschungen zur Geschichte und Lehre des Protestantismus, Reihe 10 / Band 33; München: Kaiser, 1966).
English version: The Birth of Modern Critical Theology: Origins and Problems of Biblical Criticism in the Seventeenth Century (London: SCM; Philadelphia, PA: Trinity Press International, 1990).

Smend, R., Deutsche Alttestamentler in drei Jahrhunderten (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989).

Smend, R., Epochen der Bibelkritik. Gesammelte Studien, Band 3 (BEvT 109; München: Kaiser, 1991).

Smend, R., Bibel und Wissenschaft. Historische Aufsätze (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004).

Smend, R., From Astruc to Zimmerli: Old Testament Scholarship in Three Centuries (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007).

Smend, R., Kritiker und Exegeten: Porträtskizzen zu vier Jahrhunderten alttestamentlicher Wissenschaft (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017).

Steiger, J. A., Philologia sacra: zur Exegese der Heiligen Schrift im Protestantismus des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (BThSt 117; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 2011). [The book is a revised and expanded version of his chapter on the subject in M. Sæbø (ed.), HBOT II (2008) 691-757 (see above).]

Steinmetz, D. C. (ed.), The Bible in the Sixteenth Century (Duke Monographs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 11; Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990).