Biblical Interpretation

By Robert Morgan; John Barton | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Literary Study of the Bible

Different aims and methods

The previous chapter elaborated on the theological dimension present in most nineteenth- and twentieth-century biblical scholarship and made a case for reconsidering the partnership between religious interests and rational methods that is characteristic of theological interpretation. Historical reconstruction of biblical persons, events, and traditions is an entirely legitimate activity, but possibly less fruitful for theology than the newly emerging literary approaches. These offer more points of connection for the theories of religion and reality which seem to be necessary if secular methods are to yield theological interpretations.

That suggestion does not detract from the traditional disciplines of biblical scholarship. The student of ancient literature can never have enough factual information about the languages, history, literary conventions and genres of the culture concerned. But this indispensable spadework can lay a base for several modes of interpretation, and some of the different ways that interpreters read a work of art today may prove more suggestive for theological interpretation than a historical scholarship which is less interested in the aesthetic and moral significance of great literature.

Whether or not this diagnosis is accepted, and whether or not theological interests are still strong enough to carry through a partial reorientation of biblical teaching, the suggestion itself serves the purpose of an introduction to biblical interpretation by providing a perspective on its different dimensions. It is simpler to describe the task of biblical interpretation than to survey all the contemporary theology, hermeneutics, and biblical scholarship that it involves. So much detail could obscure as much as it revealed. A


Notes for this page

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.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

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

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Biblical Interpretation


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

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?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 342

matching results for page

Cited passage

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

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.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?