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:
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).
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]

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Christianity in a word?

Margaret, author of the Biblioblog Magaret's Musings, has posted a fun question which has got (or is it gotten?) some fun answers: " What word would you choose to summarize Christianity?"

Here are some of the answers so far:

My own suggestion was


Pop on over an join in. She promises to share her own thoughts in forthcoming posts.

Update: A non-Christian friend of mine, whose opinion I cherish, shared the follow words off-line:

anti-Judaism / intolerance / persecution / divided / many-tongued / arrogant - etc. etc.

She was worried about these terms being "nasty," but I don't think they are. A true friend is one who doesn't shy from pointing out uncomfortable truths, hopefully for the sake of transformation for the better. Given that what she has said does in fact apply to vast swathes of what has been done in the name of Christ, I'm happy to just let them stand as a legitimate and important contribution to the discussion.

[HT to John Hobbins for pointing out her blog. He has is own post telling us why he loves it in A biblioblogger and she is grand]

Update: Since posting this I've actually taken the time to read the other posts on her blog and they are great! I recommend her post on rabid otters.