It seems to be an incontestable observation that the Hebrew scriptures bear testimony to God's redemption and preservation of historical Israel. The witnesses of Moses and the prophets, of the psalmists and sages, all arose within Israel's history and relate in various ways to it. Moreover, when these witnesses were collected into a scripture, Israel's story of faith was largely preserved in a historical sequence (Genesis through Ezra) along with a variety of 'commentary' (Psalms, Prophets, Wisdom) (Biblical Theology, 97).
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Quote of the Day: The significance of history for the Bible
Today's post is a quote from my favourite Old Testament scholar, Brevard Childs, on the significance of "history" for the Biblical world view. It's purpose is to introduce a new thread looking at the nature of history from a Biblical perspective (Childs' calls it "dialectical," though note the scare-quotes) as well as the hermeneutical implications this view has for Biblical exegesis.
Before I post the quote I'd like to point out that I am aware of how problematic the phrase "Biblical world view" has become, what with the (post-)modern emphasis on particularity and multiplicity (I almost got sick of that word in my anthropological studies, almost ...) . I think this diversity is important, so if you are aware of places in the Bible which contradict Childs' general statement here, then please do point them out to me.
Here's the quote:
The next post in the thread will touch on the nature of this history (i.e. it's "dialecticalness").
[P.S. This thread is the last in my rather large "über-thread" on theological exegesis]