“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

Historical Criticism: Reading the Bible in the Enlightenment

The Reformation was an unprecedented crisis in the Western Christian world — a crisis in religion, culture, and politics, certainly, but also a crisis of authority. Rome continued to insist that holy tradition was authoritative, but used that to justify some practices many found unjust and unjustifiable. The Protestants insisted that the Bible was authoritative, … Continue reading Historical Criticism: Reading the Bible in the Enlightenment

Ad Fontes and Sola Scriptura: Reading the Bible in the Reformation

In the previous post in this series on the history of biblical interpretation, we saw how the Middle Ages were a period of stability in hermeneutics, with the Church more or less happy to interpret the Scriptures as they had traditionally been interpreted and within the broader context of the Church’s faith and worship. The … Continue reading Ad Fontes and Sola Scriptura: Reading the Bible in the Reformation