The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology

The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology

The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology

The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology

Excerpt

The matter of biblical authority is ancient, endlessly vexed, and of immense importance in the church. The long history of interpretation is filled with the problematic of scripture, with ample evidence of skewed interpretation and imposed, interested readings, with here and there a glimpse of genuine, disciplined, and responsive listening. Karl Barth’s famous phrase, “The strange new world within the Bible,” stands as a stunning and remarkable summons to faithful, responsive interpretation, a summons that has echoed from Barth through the twentieth century. But of course, alongside the summons of Barth, scripture interpretation in recent time has been largely enthralled by questions of history, a distinctly modernist agenda from which we are only now beginning to be free.

In Old Testament studies, critical work has aimed at situating texts in their contexts of origin and original meaning, but such critical work has become almost trivial in its determined reconstruction of context that protests too much that the text is reportage rather than interpretation. It is odd that the most conservative interpreters and the radical debunkers of the reliability of the text have made common cause around historical issues, commonly failing to recognize the power of interpretation that permeates the texts and that regularly transposes whatever may have been reportage into interpretation and often into confessional assertion. That the fixation on historical questions has largely overlooked the fingerprints of interpretation is one of the sad and defining issues of twentieth-century interpretation, a practice made even more sad by the collusion of conservative scholastics and erudite liberals, the latter expressed in current form by the so-called “minimalists” in Old Testament study and by the Jesus Seminar in New Testament studies.

Currently the issue of biblical authority, through the work of Brevard Childs, Ronald Clements, and James Sanders, is focused on the interface of canon and criticism. Current interpretation has a long legacy of historical . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.