Saturday, 13 June 2009

Historical criticism and the Reformation

[A]s much as some have sought to describe the historical-critcal method as ingredient in the Reformation, and its indispensable genius, gift and fruit, this conclusion is far from clear. For the disentangling of general Renaissance and Enlightenment cultural developments from appeals to things like sola Scriptura is exceedingly fraught and requires multi-volume treatments in the history of ideas with deep learning and enormous sensitivity to the challenge to hand. As time passes, and one comes to terms with the exegesis of men like Luther and Calvin, it seems clearer that they inhabit a universe quite distinct, if not unbridgeable, from the one that historical-critical methods bequeathed us in their heyday. Indeed, what would 'the Reformers' really make of projects like dating the Yahwist, or the Q phenomenon, or even anodyne accounts of the history of Israel or the Greco-Roman milieu - areas in which we know more than the prophets or apostles themselves, for what that may be worth.
C. Seitz, "The Canonical Approach and Theological Interpretation," in Canon and Biblical Interpretation, 102.

For those who don't know, by the way, this is the greatest defense and clarification of Childs' approach that I know of. Get hold of it and read it again and again until you understand it!

5 comments:

Alejandro said...

The volume on Biblical Interpretation and Biblical Theology was also quite helpful.

Phil Sumpter said...

I own it but have yet to read it. You've reminded me how relevant that articles are!

Josh McManaway said...

I love that volume. Have you read Hahn's article? If so, what do you think?

Phil Sumpter said...

No, not yet. I've owned these things for ages and never find the time to read them! I will do. I will. Feel free to share your thoughts.

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