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This magisterial work has for many years been one of the best surveys of the history of biblical interpretation. To say, however, that Farrar presents the material in a completely fair and straight-forward manner is somewhat of a stretch. It is obvious to the casual reader that the heroes of the massive tome are the likes of Luther, Calvin, etc., while early (primarily the Alexandrian) and medieval exegesis is severely chided by Farrar. Much worse is his treatment of medieval rabbinic/Jewish exegesis where his disdain for their employed approaches to interpretation is hardly concealable. Farrar's work is, nonetheless, a classic. Farrar is no boring writer (speaker), being both eloquent and astute. The enduring popularity and use of this work is only a testament to its enduring value. While updated works like Reventlow's work, or even the enormous two-volume work edited by M. Saebo, will be more recent and scholarly, all of these works still are indebted to this work by Farrar.
You can always count on F.W. Farrar to present his chosen material in a completely fair way, and this book which covers the entire history of Christian exegesis is a prime example. The finest survey of this sort of history that I've ever read. Milton Terry has a decent one in "Biblical Hermeneutics," but doesn't attempt to approach the scope and scrutiny of Farrar's work here. Fred's spirit of charity and hopefulness makes the reading of his works edifying, completely apart from whatever subjects he is addressing. A "must read" for all students of the Bible or history.