Written for Our Learning: The Single Meaning of Scripture in Christian Theology (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2016), forthcoming.

‘In much postmodern discourse it has become usual to argue that the biblical text has many meanings (as many as there are interpreters). Benjamin Sargent shows, in this tightly-argued book, that many readers in the past believed it had a single, determinate meaning. The New Testament writers thought that Old Testament texts had a single meaning (usually a Christological one); later writers believed the same about the New Testament. This is a book that will challenge many assumptions, on the basis both of detailed examination of many texts and of a wide knowledge of secondary literature about biblical interpretation down the centuries.’ The Revd Prof John Barton, Emeritus Oriel and Laing Professor of Biblical Interpretation, University of Oxford.

‘The interpretation of Scripture lies at the heart of Christian theology and its meaning determines our confession of faith. In this timely book, Benjamin Sargent takes us through the history of the church to show that in every age, Christians have maintained that there is one reading of the text that is valid above all others. Dr Sargent does not ignore the complexities of hermeneutics but demonstrates how, in spite of the many different avenues that interpreters have explored, this fundamental assertion has continued to assert itself right up to the present day.’ Prof Gerald Bray, Research Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School.

Written to Serve: The Use of Scripture in 1 Peter (Library of New Testament Studies 547; London: T & T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2015). http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/written-to-serve-9780567660855/

‘This work is thoughtfully written and clear in its expression. It breaks new ground in Petrine studies and interacts with most relevant literature…this work will be a “must read” for commentators on 1 Peter.’ Peter Davids,  Catholic Biblical Quarterly 78 (2016).

‘This book is notable for its helpful discussions of so many passages in the text and for the attempt to relate Peter’s approach to the theology underlying his exposition. Sargent himself is cautious and conservative, as is seen, for example, in his ambivalence on the question of Petrine authorship, which, he insists, cannot be ruled out any more than can the alternative. It is obviously better scholarship to defend a traditional solution to a crux than to offer a novel one that is wrong.’ I. Howard Marshall, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 38.5 (2016).

Reviewed by Katie Marcar at http://www.academia.edu/24219941/Review_Sargent_Written_to_Serve_The_Use_of_Scripture_in_1_Peter_

David being a Prophet: The Contingency of Scripture upon History in the New Testament (Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 207; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014). http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/428478

‘This work addresses important issues related to historical research surrounding biblical texts. Sargent’s approach and conclusions are marked by cautious exegetical humility, sometimes to a fault, especially when addressing subjects of great controversy. Nevertheless, the book will be of value to those engaged in researching the New Testament’s use of scripture and those interested in hermeneutical questions’. Review of Biblical Literature, July (2015),

Day by Day: The Rhythm of the Bible in the Book of Common Prayer (AF 4; London: Latimer Trust, 2012). http://www.latimertrust.org/index.php/publications/anglican-foundations/177-af04

‘Sargent’s piece is a thoughtful and intelligent study of the church’s calendar, as expressed in the collects, lectionary and psalter of the BCP’, Anaphora 7.1 (2013), 73

As it is Written: Interpreting the Bible with Boldness (LS 75; London: Latimer Trust. 2011). http://www.latimertrust.org/index.php/publications/studies/151-ls75

‘Sargent’s book is particularly welcome. It is short, peppered with direct applications to the current evangelical Anglican context, and while due to the subject matter is unavoidably dense, his simple overriding structure and ruthlessly efficient argumentation make it one of the best and most accessible introductions to hermeneutical philosophy that this reviewer has read’. Churchman 127.4 (2013), 371.

Academic Journal articles

‘The Ghosts of the Past: Hermeneutical Reflections on Historical Criticism within a Shared Conversation on Human Sexuality’, Expository Times 128 (2016) forthcoming.

‘The Exegetical Middah דבר הלמד מענינו and the New Testament’, Novum Testamentum 57.4 (2015), 413-417. http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15685365-12341506

‘“Interpreting Homer from Homer”: Aristarchus of Samothrace and the Notion of Scriptural Authorship in the New Testament’, Tyndale Bulletin 65.1 (2014), 125-139.

‘“The coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope”: The Sea and Eschatology in Deutero-Isaiah’, Expository Times 126.3 (2014), 122-130. http://ext.sagepub.com/content/126/3/122.abstract

‘Biblical Hermeneutics and the Zurich Reformation’, Evangelical Quarterly 86.4 (2014), 325-342.

‘Chosen through Sanctification (1 Pet1,2 and 1 Thess 2,13): The Theology or Diction of Silvanus?’ Biblica 94.1 (2013), 117-120. http://www.bsw.org/biblica/vol-94-2013/chosen-through-sanctification-1-pet-1-2-and-2-thess-2-13-the-theology-or-diction-of-silvanus/519/article-p117.html

‘The Narrative Substructure of 1 Peter’, Expository Times 124.10 (2013), 485-490. http://ext.sagepub.com/content/124/10/485.abstract

‘John Milbank and biblical hermeneutics: the end of the historical-critical method?’ Heythrop Journal 52:2 (2012), 253-263. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2265.2011.00727.x/abstract

‘Proceeding beyond isolation: bringing Milbank, Habermas and Ockham to the interfaith table’ Heythrop Journal 51.5 (2010), 819-830. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2265.2009.00506.x/abstract

‘The dead letter? Psalm 119 and the spirituality of the Bible’, Evangelical Quarterly 81:2 (2009), 99-115. http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/2009-2_099.pdf


Less academic and popular articles

‘Another Brick in the Wall? The Prevent Strategy’, Church of England Newspaper, April 2016. Forthcoming.

‘Using or Abusing the Bible: The Hermeneutics of American Literary Pragmatism’, Churchman 130.1 (2016), 11-20

‘My Big Fat Greek Ordination Course’, Church of England Newspaper, May 2015. http://latimertrust.org/index.php/news/33-ben/254-my-big-fat-greek-ordination-course

‘A Naval Game of Thrones’, Church of England Newspaper, Mar 2014. http://www.latimertrust.org/index.php/news/33-ben/216-a-naval-game-of-thrones

‘Christian Leadership in the Acts of the Apostles,’ Churchman 127.3 (2013), 221-230.

‘Won’t we ever be more than Colleagues?’ Church of England Newspaper, 15th Dec 2011. http://www.latimertrust.org/index.php/news/33-Ben/155-wont-we-ever-be-more-than-colleagues

‘One meaning or many? A Study in New Testament Interpretation of Old Testament Texts’, Churchman 124:4 (2010), 357-365.

‘John 4:1-42 and the clarity of the Bible’, Churchman 123:3 (2009), 226-234. http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/churchman/123-03_226.pdf


Works currently under review for publication.

‘Souls Saved by Water: 1 Pet 3:20-21 and the Interpretation of Scripture in 1 Peter’

‘Neither Jew nor Greek: The Use of Scripture in Ignatius’ Epistle to the Magnesians’


Works planned or in progress

‘Not in the Archives: Theological Narrative and Scripture in Ignatius’ Epistle to the Philadelphians’

‘What is typological interpretation?’

‘Hermeneutics and Eschatology’

‘Anyone who hears my words’: Hermeneutics of Direct Action in Early Christianity and Judaism



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