How to Read the New Testament: An Introduction to Linguistic and Historical-Critical Methodology

By Harvey, John D. | Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, June 1999 | Go to article overview

How to Read the New Testament: An Introduction to Linguistic and Historical-Critical Methodology


Harvey, John D., Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


How to Read the New Testament: An Introduction to Linguistic and Historical-Critical Methodology. By Wilhelm Egger. Translated by P. Heinegg. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, xxxvi + 232 pp., $29.95.

This translation of the 1986 German original is intended to serve as a guide to scholarly work on NT texts. It attempts to integrate "classic" diachronic methods with newer synchronic methods and proposes a four-step approach: (1) preparatory work, (2) synchronic reading, (ct) diachronic reading and (4) actualization. Preparatory work includes establishing the form of the text (textual criticism), gaining a first orientation to the text and translating the text. Synchronic reading examines the text using semantic analysis, pragmatic analysis and analysis of textual genre. Diachronic reading addresses issues related to source criticism, tradition criticism and redaction criticism. Actualization approaches the text to seek orientation in constructing and coping with life. Egger believes that the particular strength of the method that he proposes is the inclusion of synchronic methods. The result is "a methodological expansion of historical criticism" in which "comprehensive systematic observations of textual phenomena become a deliberate research step" (p. 67).

Egger has undertaken an ambitious task. In effect, he attempts to introduce the reader to twelve scholarly methods in a single book and to integrate those methods into a comprehensive approach to reading NT texts. In the end, he has been more successful in the latter effort than in the former. His overall method proceeds logically and makes good sense. He is to be commended for his emphasis on the phenomena of the text in its final form and for his concern with "actualizing" the text. By including these areas in his method, Egger provides a good balance to the tendency of the historical-critical method to focus on the prehistory of the text while neglecting other important aspects.

The discussion of individual methods, however, is overly brief. The section on semantic analysis will serve as a case study. The discussion of textual semantics (pp. 85-101) is too concise both in its explanation of method and in the examples it uses. Egger points the reader to a series of technical works, but he does not provide enough information for the nonspecialist to follow the discussion. One detailed, carefully explained example would have been more helpful. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How to Read the New Testament: An Introduction to Linguistic and Historical-Critical Methodology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.