The Power of Story: Narrative Criticism

By the late 1970s, Christian theology and biblical studies appeared to be at an impasse. On the one hand, historical criticism in its various guises was still going strong; for example E.P. Sanders’s Paul and Palestinian Judaism was published in 1977, introducing the revolutionary ‘New Perspective on Paul’. But on the other hand, the Evangelical … Continue reading The Power of Story: Narrative Criticism

Whose Text Is It Anyway? The Bible and the Postmodern Critique

The past few posts in this series on the history of Bible interpretation have narrowed in on various Christian responses to modernity. Arising out of the Renaissance, modernity’s bold presuppositions, Big Ideas, and critical questions dismantled traditional European society. And, by the mid-nineteenth century, modernity had transformed the whole world in its own image. All … Continue reading Whose Text Is It Anyway? The Bible and the Postmodern Critique

“Hear What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches”: Reading the Bible in the Pentecostal and Black Churches

In the previous post in this series on the history of Biblical interpretation, I introduced personal, devotional readings of the Scriptures through the lens of the monastic practices of lectio divina and Gospel Contemplation. Today we’ll turn to similarly personal approaches in the Protestant world. With the Reformation’s twin focuses on the importance of the … Continue reading “Hear What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches”: Reading the Bible in the Pentecostal and Black Churches

‘What the Bible Means for Me’: Devotional Readings of the Bible

In this series, we’ve seen that Christians throughout history have read the Bible with different sets of questions and expectations. For the Apostles, it was ‘How do the Scriptures (i.e., Old Testament), help us understand what we experienced in Jesus?’ For the Church Fathers, it was ‘How do the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) proclaim … Continue reading ‘What the Bible Means for Me’: Devotional Readings of the Bible

Literalism, Fundamentalism, and Inerrancy: The Evangelical Reaction to the Enlightenment

In the last post, we saw how Biblical scholars of the Enlightenment applied its faith in reason and objective study, and its emerging disciplines of history, archaeology, linguistics and the like, to create a series of approaches to the Bible known generally as ‘historical criticism.’ These approaches shared a belief that the the books of … Continue reading Literalism, Fundamentalism, and Inerrancy: The Evangelical Reaction to the Enlightenment