Tag Archives: hermeneutics

A collection of articles on biblical theology

Out of EgyptOut of Egypt

Craig Bartholomew, Mary Healy, Karl Möller and Robin Parry (eds), Out of Egypt: Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation (Scripture & Hermeneutics Series, 5; Carlisle: Paternoster Press; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004)

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The Christian church confesses Scripture to be the authoritative Word of God, and thereby commits itself to seeking the inner unity of the Bible as it is focussed in the one gospel of Jesus Christ, which the church declares to the world. Biblical theology is the name for the articulation of that inner unity of the Bible, and this volume rows vigorously against the currents in mainline biblical studies as it seeks to set the table for a renewed feast of biblical theology in biblical interpretation.

Craig Bartholomew

Out of Egypt is the fifth volume from the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar. This annual gathering of Christian scholars from various disciplines was established in 1998 and aims to reassess the discipline of biblical studies from the foundations up and forge creative new ways for reopening the Bible in our cultures.

In modernity biblical studies has stressed the diversity of Scripture to such an extent that any expression of its overarching unity is regarded with scepticism. The demise of the Biblical Theology Movement in 1961 played into this tendency, and since then biblical theology has not recovered its place as a major element in biblical interpretation. However, any approach to the Bible as Christian Scripture must recognise the need to articulate the inner unity of the Bible and hence of biblical theology. Furthermore, situated as we are in ‘post-modernity’ we are better able to see how untimely the demise of biblical theology is. This volume assesses the current state of biblical theology and sets forth in a smorgasbord of creative ways fresh directions for doing biblical interpretation.

This volume on biblical theology jumps into the fray and poses the right kind of questions. It does not offer a single way forward. Several of the essays are quite fresh and provocative, breaking new ground (Bray, Reno); others set out the issues with clarity and grace (Bartholomew); others offer programmatic analysis (Webster, Bauckham); others offer a fresh angle of view (Chapman, Martin). The success of this series is in facing the challenge of disarray in biblical studies head-on and then modelling a variety of approaches to stimulate our reflection.

Christopher Seitz, Professor of Old Testament and Theological Studies, St Andrews University, UK

Ranging widely across the latest theory and up-to-date praxis of biblical theology, this volume makes a significant contribution to the gathering renewal of that discipline on both sides of the Atlantic. With an ecumenical, star-studded team of experts in the Old and New Testaments as well as in Patristics and Christian doctrine, Out of Egypt is more than a sum of its parts: from various theoretical and practical perspectives, it demonstrates both the pedigree and the intellectual vitality of biblical theology. In so doing, this book gives continued hope for an exodus of Christian biblical interpretation from its long slavery to diverse late-modern taskmasters of historicist and ideologically revisionist deconstruction.

Markus Bockmuehl, Reader in New Testament Studies, University of Cambridge, UK

Biblical theology attempts to explore the theological coherence of the canonical witnesses; no serious Christian theology can overlook this issue. The essays in the present volume illustrate the complexity and richness of the conversation that results from attentive consideration of the question. In a time when some voices are calling for a moratorium on biblical theology, or pronouncing its concerns obsolete, this collection of meaty essays demonstrates the continuing vitality and necessity of the enterprise.

Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, The Divinity School, Duke University, USA

Contents

Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation: Introduction
Craig G. Bartholomew

  1. The Church Fathers and Biblical Theology
    Gerald Bray
  2. The Nature and Genre of Biblical Theology: Some Reflections in the Light of Charles H. H. Scobie’s ‘Prolegomena to a Biblical Theology’
    Karl Möller
  3. Some Directions in Catholic Biblical Theology
    Francis Martin
  4. The Theology of the Old Testament by Marco Nobile: A Contribution to Jewish–Christian Relations
    Nuria Calduch-Benages
  5. Mission as a Matrix for Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology
    Christopher J. H. Wright
  6. Story and Biblical Theology
    Craig G. Bartholomew and Mike W. Goheen
  7. The Problem of ‘Biblical Theology’
    James D. G. Dunn
  8. Biblical Theology and the Problem of Monotheism
    Richard Bauckham
  9. The Unity of Humankind as a Theme in Biblical Theology
    Stephen C. Barton
  10. Zechariah 14 and Biblical Theology: Patristic and Contemporary Case Studies
    Al Wolters
  11. Paul and Salvation History in Romans 9:30–10:4
    William J. Dumbrell
  12. Hebrews and Biblical Theology
    Andrew T. Lincoln
  13. Systematic – In What Sense?
    Trevor Hart
  14. Biblical Theology and the Clarity of Scripture
    John Webster
  15. Biblical Theology and Theological Exegesis
    R. R. Reno
  16. Imaginative Reading of Scripture and Theological Interpretation
    Stephen B. Chapman
  17. Biblical Theology and Preaching
    Charles H. H. Scobie

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Articles on language and biblical interpretation

After Pentecost
Craig Bartholomew, Colin Greene and Karl Möller (eds), After Pentecost: Language and Biblical Interpretation (Scripture & Hermeneutics Series, 2; Carlisle: Paternoster Press; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001)

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There is always some view of language built into biblical interpretation. If we are to read Scripture to hear God’s address it is vital that we attend to current debates about language and become critically conscious in this respect.

Craig Bartholomew

After Pentecost is the second volume from the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar. This annual gathering of Christian scholars from various disciplines was established in 1998 and aims to reassess the discipline of biblical studies from the foundations up and forge creative new ways for reopening the Bible in our cultures.

The Seminar was aware from the outset that any renewal of biblical interpretation would have to attend to the issue of language. In this rich and creative volume the importance of linguistic issues for biblical interpretation is analysed, the challenge of postmodernism is explored, and some of the most creative recent developments in philosophy and theology of language are assessed and updated for biblical interpretation.

The scholars who together have produced this remarkable volume – and the projected series of which this volume is a part – are prepared to deal patiently and honestly with the most elemental theological issues. The title, After Pentecost, alludes to the problem and prospect of language as the condition of theological truth, and the authors are fully conversant with the most important theoretical issues concerning language. They mobilize that vast learning for the tasks of exegesis and theological adjudication. This is a serious book, a genre in which there are few current representatives. The book will bear careful, patient study. It cannot be ‘read,’ but must be studied. The treatment of theological language as a theological issue offered here matches the gravity of the topic itself. Immense learning is mobilized in the service of serious critical reflection on behalf of the church as the church faces an entirely new situation with the demise of modernist rationality and its accompanying positivism.

Walter Brueggemann, Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

This is an excellent collection on a topic for which interdisciplinary conversation between biblical scholars, theologians and philosophers is vital. These essays deserve to be widely read and to draw many more of us into that conversation.

Richard Bauckham, Professor of New Testament Studies, St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews

Central to the theological task is the question as to how human language functions and refers within the context of Christian revelation. This volume contains an impressive series of essays and responses by leading contemporary philosophers, theologians and biblical scholars brought together to consider the relationship between biblical, exegetical and theological discourse. Their work is characterised by a shared concern to articulate the manner in which God may and does speak in and through human speech. This significant contribution to the debate will prove invaluable to anyone committed to intellectual engagement with these key issues.

Alan Torrance, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of St Andrews

Contents

  1. From Speech Acts to Scripture Acts: The Covenant of Discourse and the Discourse of Covenant
    Kevin J. Vanhoozer
  2. Ricoeur, Speech-Act Theory, and the Gospels as History
    Dan R. Stiver
  3. The Promise of Speech-Act Theory for Biblical Interpretation
    Nicholas Wolterstorff
  4. How to Be a Postmodernist and Remain a Christian: A Response to Nicholas Wolterstorff
    Mary Hesse
  5. ‘Behind’ and ‘In Front of’ the Text: Language, Reference and Indeterminacy
    Anthony C. Thiselton
  6. A ‘Polite’ Response to Anthony Thiselton
    William Olhausen
  7. Before Babel and After Pentecost: Language, Literature and Biblical Interpretation
    Craig G. Bartholomew
  8. Language at the Frontiers of Language
    Gregory J. Laughery
  9. ‘Starting a Rockslide’ – Deconstructing History and Language via Christological Detonators
    Colin J. D. Greene
  10. Words of Power: Biblical Language and Literary Criticism with Reference to Stephen Prickett’s Words and the Word and Mark 1:21-28
    Stephen I. Wright
  11. Reviving the Power of Biblical Language: The Bible, Literature and Literary Language
    Brian D. Ingraffia and Todd E. Pickett
  12. Naming the Father: The Teaching Authority of Jesus and Contemporary Debate
    David L. Jeffrey
  13. Back to Babel – That Confounded Language Again: A Response to David L. Jeffrey
    Kathryn Greene-McCreight
  14. On Bible Translation and Hermeneutics
    Raymond C. Van Leeuwen
  15. Illocutionary Stance in Hans Frei’s The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: An Exercise in Conceptual Redescription and Normative Analysis
    Neil B. MacDonald
  16. Metaphor, Symbol and the Interpretation of Deuteronomy
    J. Gordon McConville
  17. Words of (In-)evitable Certitude? Reflections on the Interpretation of Prophetic Oracles of Judgement
    Karl Möller
  18. Metaphor and Exegesis
    Ian Paul

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