The Bible, Theology, and Faith: A Study of Abraham and Jesus

By R. W. L. Moberly | Go to book overview

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The Bible, the question of God, and Christian
faith

There are many ways in which one could approach discussion of the Bible and its interpretation. One could look at classic models of the past. One could study particular twentieth-century scholars, such as Bultmann, von Rad, or Childs, who have made landmark contributions. One could offer a history of the subject with a view to highlighting some aspect. One could try to survey the burgeoning plurality of methods and results in contemporary biblical study. I propose to do none of these, but rather to develop an account of biblical interpretation in relation to the question of God in three stages. First, I will offer a very broad brush sketch of certain aspects of biblical interpretation within which to contextualize my general concerns. Secondly, I will expound and analyse two significant and different contemporary accounts of how biblical interpretation operates (or should operate). Thirdly, I will set out my own specific hermeneutical assumptions which inform the handling of the biblical text in the rest of the book.1


Situating the argument

(1) A basic tension

The scholarly study of the Bible is a difficult discipline. Many of the difficulties relate to age-old questions, such as the relationship between faith and reason, or appropriate method in reading ancient texts, questions which are renewed in every generation. However, the particular form in

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I realize the dangers inherent in the kind of generalizations which will regularly feature in this argument, for it is rarely difficult to think of exceptions and qualifications, and one cannot do justice to the complexities of hermeneutical debate in one chapter. I ask for the reader's patience with the broad brush strokes of this whole chapter.

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