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Donald Bloesch's christological hermeneutic emphasizes the need to go beyond the literal sense of the text to discern its larger significance. Theology must show forth Christ.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A clear and helpful explanation of the development of key ideas within the Old and New Testament including the idea of God, man, right and wrong, suffering, paryer and immortality.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A respected New Testament scholar indicates the impossibility of the nineteenth-century German quest for the historical Jesus, and describes a different kind of quest based upon new premises, procedures and objectives. This quest calls for a total encounter with the person of Jesus, and calls upon the seeker himself to make a radical decision.
For Robert Webber theology is an activity from out of the church's tradition. The standard for judging a theology's adequacy is not Scripture alone, for the thoughtful working out of much of theology took place in the centuries following the writing of Scripture. This is not to put church practice on a par with Scripture. It is only to recognize that the apostolic tradition did not fully emerge until the fourth and fifth centuries and, thus, it is the Church Fathers whom we must study if we are to theologize aright.
In this interview, Jonathan L. Reed shows that archeology helps us understand the words and deeds of Jesus more as his contemporaries would have. It gives a much better context to Jesus’ life and teachings. The world of Jesus was quite different from what we take it to mean in our times.
Jonathan L. Reed shows that archeology helps us understand the words and deeds of Jesus more as his contemporaries would have. It gives a much better context to Jesus’ life and teachings. The world of Jesus was quite different from what we take it to mean in our times.
The Literary Guide to the Bible suffers from too narrow. or at least too traditional, a view of the literary. In seeking to distance itself both from the theologians of past biblical scholarship and from the ideological controversies of current literary criticism, it risks promoting a disturbing provincialism.
The "letter" of the Bible versus the "spirit" of the Bible regarding slavery immediately before the Civil War are discussed. The author discusses the theological and secular arguments for and against slavery.
Rather than proclaiming loud, dogmatic slogans about the Bible, we might do better to consider the odd and intimate ways in which we have each been led to where we are in our relationship with the scriptures. What if liberals and conservatives in the church, for all their disagreement, would together put their energies to upholding the main truth against the main threat?
The recent wave of school-board hearings, legislative bills and court cases suggests that literalism is a persistent phenomenon. Indeed, we may be seeing only the top of the turnip.
All translators of the Bible must confront certain exegetical problems: Textual, lexical, grammatical, terms of kinship, and pronoun gender. The plain fact is that one cannot translate the Bible without doing exegesis and interpretation.
Most of’ Barbara Brown Taylor’s students profess to live by the Bible without ever having read more than 50 pages of it. Their knowledge of’ what is in it comes from their parents, their preachers and their Bible study leaders, as well as from movies such as Left Behind. When students are asked to read what is actually on the page, most see what they have been taught to see. The danger arises partly because many of them come from communities that censure nonconformity.
With only a few exceptions, too many study Bibles ignore contemporary biblical research. Recently, however, several high-quality study Bibles conversant with current scholarship have been published -- Bibles that by and large would interest mainline congregations.
Walter Brueggemann offers a series of 19 theses about the Bible in the church. The dominant scripture that permeates every dimension of our common life is the scripture of therapeutic, technological, consumerist militarism. That scripture has failed.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Paul Ricoeur presents a hermeneutics of biblical interpretation from his position as a philosopher, aided by Lewis Mudge’s clarification of Ricoeur’s thought.
The author analyzes the evangelical's need to develop a consensus theology, one arising out of Biblical, traditional and contemporary data.
The author compares two opposite thinkers -- Gadamer and Derida, and how we read: How we read and understand texts has an impact upon the texts themselves. Rather than being static, texts are constantly in motion, since our interpretation of them affects their very being.
In this companion article to "Light in the Darkness" by Marcus J. Borg, the author, while holding that Jesus' birth gets far more attention than its role in the New Testament warrants and supposing that his own Christian faith or that of the church to which he belongs would not have been very different if the first two chapters of both Matthew and Luke never existed, holds open his historical judgment and asks, "If that's what God deemed appropriate, who am I to object?"
Three book reviews. Pagels, Ehrman and King suggest three ways in which the alternative scriptures can benefit Christians today: 1. They would show more developmental diversity, 2. This diversity would show that there was more than what orthodoxy presented and 3. It would help us understand the varieties of contemporary Christianity.
The Thinking Person’s Guide to the Bible as the Book of Faith: No thinking person wants to undo the work of critical scholarship which has freed us from a rigid view of Scripture.
Placker presents an appreciative summary of Hans Frei’s understanding of biblical narrative as neither moral teachings nor historical accounts, but rather as primarily narrative. Frei calls upon the Christian community to regain "its autonomous vocation as a religion" by telling its distinctive stories about how God worked in the life of Israel, and God’s self-revelation in the life of Jesus Christ.
What did the biblical writers know and when did they know it? The maximalist versus the minimalist approaches to the history of ancient Israel. The former starts with confidence in the historicity of the Bible, while the latter uses only the meager epigraphical and archaeological remains.
Jenks holds that a focus of scholarly work on the historical Jesus is essential for the health of Christianity. He gives an excellent short summary of what scholars know about the historical Jesus, and what these new insights mean for the future of churches.
William Dryness argues that to do theology properly we must begin not with a doctrine of Scripture but with our life in the world. "Scripture will function much more like a musical score than a blueprint for our lives. A score gives guidance but it must always be played afresh".
Study of the Bible that avoids facing issues of power, economics and social ideology becomes a justification of the status quo. Simply but quite precisely put, the historical-critical approach to biblical study had become bankrupt. Not dead: the critical tools have a potential usefulness, if they can only be brought under new management.
For Clark Pinnock theology must be hermeneutical theology. The current tendency to relate theology to present-day issues is a "recipe for Scripture-twisting on a grand scale." Only what is revelation, i.e., only Scripture, can "be made a matter of theological truth."
Modern Indian translators do not pay careful attention for the right selection of text any more than other modern translators. Translations and interpretations at anytime should be on the basis of textual critical approaches and must be centered on the reliable Greek/Hebrew sources.
James I. Packer argues that the "biblical texts must be understood in their human context."
Whenever there is a really intense fight among American Protestants, sooner or later it seems to turn into an argument over the truth of scripture. Nonfundamentalists' discussions of appeals to the Bible have often consisted principally in ridiculing fundamentalism, without defining any clear Christian alternative to fundamentalism. The author sketches an alternative way of saying, "Yes, the Bible is true."
Biblical prophets all across the land are indeed making "minute predictions about events in world history," that God’s climactic and decisive intervention in human affairs is about to occur. This recent explosion of aggressive millenarianism is biblically and theologically perverse and historically dangerous.
A review of The Elusive Messiah, by Raymond Martin. What should Christians make of the challenges New Testament scholarship poses to traditional Christian belief about Jesus? Martin delineates what he regards as the only three possible solutions: "Only Faith," "Only Reason," and "Faith Seeking Understanding," in which some sort of compromise is worked out between the historian and faith. He then proposes his own solution.
Fifteen scholars and pastors convened by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1998-2002 as "The Scripture Project," have proposed "Nine Theses" in interpreting the Bible for our times. These Nine Theses are presented in this article.
If the transcendent is an especially rich dimension of reality which is humanly known by mediation, then it is only fitting that our talk of the transcendent be couched in metaphor, for such language allows one dimension of reality to be revealed in and through another.
If anything ties together the various strands of new approaches to biblical interpretation, it is a concern for the relationship of language, meaning and power.
When some law, whether from Moses or from some Leviticus priest, is unjust or oppressive to a minority, it has to be ignored or changed. That is what Jesus did, and he put his life on the line for it. And that is what the church that follows Jesus must do.
There are at least three questions to ask those who would use psychological models to interpret the biblical text: What is wrong with the old ways? How can psychology add to our insights? Why are some people so resistant to such attempts?
The Gospel writers think they’re talking about things that actually happened, like the resurrection If these things didn’t happen, N.T. Wright claims, he’s got other things to do with his life.
If the Bible is oppressive, how do we then relate to God? And on what grounds do we conduct our critique of scripture? We should indeed be suspicious when we read scripture—suspicious of ourselves, whose minds need to be transformed. Rereading scripture from a new perspective was as challenging for Paul as trusting God’s promise was for Abraham.
Russell Spittler argues for an exegetical theology. Only through a commitment to Scripture does he find validation for his tradition.
Learning by rote is no more useful in Bible study than in other fields, and it is often the Bible’s anomalous, even contradictory texts that lead us to deeper thought and strong faith.
A full appreciation of the Bible with all its resonances will emerge from a combination of approaches to it. The biblical scholar cannot avoid the question, “What does it mean for me?” For the answer he or she will need some knowledge of the lay world -- but also of the world within which the Bible and the first Christian communities took shape.
(ENTIRE BOOK) There is a way of reading the bible which opens the door to vital faith without shutting the door to critical thought.
Evangelicals are jittery, fearing that Lindsell’s book The Battle for the Bible might herald a new era of faculty purges and organizational splits -- a replay of earlier conflicts, this time rending the evangelical world asunder.
Biblical criticism can no longer ignore the charges that it has atomized the Bible in its own special way, then stuffed the pieces back into antiquity, while often acting irresponsibly about the nature of the Bible itself. The claim to objectivity and thoroughness rings hollow when the Bible as canon is ignored.
Dr. Brueggemann reviews Brevard Child's book on Isaiah. The nature of the biblical material itself makes interpretation inescapably theological. It has as its subject the theological claims made in and through the text and received by the church.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Citing the disconnection if not alienation that exists between the community of biblical scholars and the community of faith, the author calls for a serious reassessment of the driving forces in biblical scholarship, and suggests a new paradigm that holds promise of making the Bible more widely available and humanly applicable.
(ENTIRE BOOK) This book gives an overview of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, showing the consistency and organic unity of biblical thought – a harmony underlying the obvious differences between the two testaments. It is arranged by topics for easy reading.
This essay seeks to reach, with a layman's tools, a personal accommodation with a Bible that both repels him and attracts him.
Hanna-Barbera portrays the heroes as so mighty and good that they overshadow God. Instead of providing a generation with knowledge of the Bible, the Hanna-Barbera cartoons may be fostering the worst kind of biblical ignorance.
The Bible is not a moral tract. It may contain all that is necessary for salvation, but the glory of Easter is not a result of self-righteousness. I discovered that the Bible is a great deal more alive than the church establishment seemed to be.
In this companion article to God's Way of Acting by N. T. wright, the author thinks the birth stories of Jesus are metaphorically true, though not historically factual. He contrasts the functions of the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke and offers reasons for their absence in Mark and John. The theme of remarkable births is part of the tradition of Israel. The story of the virginal conception is not a marvel of biology, but an early Christian narratival confession of faith in and affirmation of allegiance to Jesus. It points to the truly important questions: "Is Jesus the Light of the World? Is he the true Lord? Is what happened in him 'of God'?" The story of Jesus' birth is not just about the past, but about the internal birth in us in the present.
The following is Chapter Ten in Robert K. Johnston (ed.) The Use of the Bible in Theology: Evangelical Options (John Knox 1985
The author finds much to praise in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
Dream interpretation, so Jewish in its imaginative attentiveness, pertains to psychological matters and the reality of repression. But it is not limited to those concerns. Dreams concern larger realities and possible futures.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Lampe states that the resurrection of Christ certainly was not a resurrection of the physical body and that the "empty tomb" story is as much a hinderance as a help to believing Christians. Professor MacKinnon examines the Easter Narrative in light of the the passion narrative.
Romney traces the "road" that runs through the entire Bible, a road which, if followed faithfully, leads to the heart of a living, loving God.
(ENTIRE BOOK) The situations out of which each of the books of the New Testament grew, and how each book met that situation.
Alternative visions of the word evangelicalism result in such different content that its use is confusing without consideration of those transformations of meaning. Understanding these differences is key to reconciling the core meaningof evangelicalism with the Wesleyan tradition.
For John Howard Yoder theology is an activity on behalf of the church. Its function is neither that of maintenance nor that of generalization. Theology is the church's servant through a missionary and aggressive "biblical realism." Theology protects against overly confident or overly relevant applications. It is meant to correct and renew the church.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A review of the place of the Bible in our culture, examining the crucial question of what is meant by its being the inspired Word of God. Excellent summary of the geographical, social and religious setting within which the Bible emerged, the stages of its development, the literary types in the Old and New Testaments, and the main themes.
(ENTIRE BOOK) There is a dilemma in understanding the meaning of the Kingdom of God. Various approaches to kingdom study are presented. Among these are included: 1. Dr. Harkness’ own understanding of the kingdom. 2. the Scriptural views of understanding of the kingdom. 3. a theological analysis of the message. 4. The message itself.
This essay is the introduction to the nine documents which follow, all derived from Johnston (ed.), The Uses of the Bible in Theology: Evangelical Options. Evangelicals are increasingly recognizing the need to ask methodological questions as they do theology. This growing hermeneutical concern is not a capitulation to modernity, but rather is evidence of evangelicalism's continuing commitment to the lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture.
Despite the deeply embedded concept of hell, the perception seems to be fading from current talk in mainline churches. These commentaries on hell suggest many divergent views still exist about the value of this concept.
Will our attention to Jesus' return cause us to become indifferent to the care of the earth and to our sister and brother in need?