Monday, 15 September 2008

Quote of the day: A strange irony

It is a strange irony that those examples of biblical interpretation in the past which have truly immersed themselves in a specific concrete historical context, such as Luther in Saxony, retain the greatest value as models for the future actualization of the biblical text in a completely different world. Conversely those biblical commentators who laid claim to an objective, scientific explanation of what the text really meant, often appear as uninteresting museum pieces to the next generation.
Childs, Biblical Theology, 88.

3 comments:

Bill said...

Hey, Phil. I wanted to make sure you caught the final response from Frank Viola on BW3's site (which I see in your blog reader, but which was very long). Somewhere in the middle, your homeboy Childs got a fair amount of text there from Frank.

FYI because I thought you'd like to know AND because I'd selfishly love to see your response to all that, or at least to Frank's take on Childs and Canonical criticism.

Happy reading... :)

Bill said...

Ah, the link (in case your feed buries it before you find time, as happens) is: here.

Phil Sumpter said...

Thanks for the link Bill. I hadn't been following the dialogue, so to be honest I don't feel I can just jump in and give my opinion. I haven't read what Ben Witherington, though it sounds as if he fits within the classic mould of the New Testament scholar, which is that the historical meaning is the main meaning. I'm guessing they feel they can do that because they are interpreting the "New" testament, which may give them the feeling that whatever the literal sense is: that's the one binding for Christians. Christian Old Testament scholars have it harder, because they simply can't just believe the literal historical sense. But the benefit for them is that they are forced to think a bit deeper and struggle with issues of referentiality, meaning, and canon. As Ben Myer said a while back, all the best Biblical theologians are Alttestamentler. In short, Frank is right on the money.

You may want to follow the dialogue that I've been having with Mark on this issue here. I think it all goes back to Barth. Interestingly enough, one NT scholar I am a major fan of is Paul Minear, and he was a Barthian.