Behind the Text: History and Biblical Interpretation (The Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, V. 4)

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9781842270684: Behind the Text: History and Biblical Interpretation (The Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, V. 4)

"There are few topics more central to the task of biblical interpretation than history, and not many become so multi-faceted as soon as they are examined in depth. Equally, few books open up the topic in such an illuminating and thought-provoking manner as this splendid collection of essays and responses." - Hugh Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Oxford, England. "This volume of excellent essays brings together eminent scholars from several disciplines, representing various theological positions, to focus on the subject of history and biblical interpretation. The book breaks new ground in its interdisciplinary examinations of the methodology, the presuppositions, the practices, and the purposes of the biblical hermeneutics, with a special emphasis on the relation of faith and history. It is requisite reading for anyone interested in the subject, from historical biblical critics and philosophical theologians to educate laity concerned to understand trends in the field." - Eleonore Stump, Robert J. Henle, Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University, United States. "In my view, this volume represents the initial stages of which is long overdue, and which holds great promise for the full-fledged academic recovery of the Bible as Scripture. It embodies an unusual combination of world-class scholarship, historic Christian orthodoxy, bold challenges to conventional wisdom, and the launching of fresh new ideas." - Al Wolters, Professor of Religion and Theology, Redeemer University College, Ontario, Canada. "This volume well illustrates the Christian adage of faith pushes reason to achieve goals previously unsuspected but still proper to itself. The last few centuries have seen the development of an epistemology and an understanding of history that never leave the closed system thinking of both Modernism and Post-Modernism. In biblical studies their child is the Historical Critical Method. The essays presented here respect the need and fruitfulness of a critical historiography while beginning the much-needed process of correcting the philosophical tenets underlying much modern and postmodern biblical research. The result is a book that mediates a faith understanding, both theoretical and practical, of how to read the Bible authentically as a Christian today." - Francis Martin, Chair, Catholic-Jewish Theological Studies, John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington, D.C.

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From the Back Cover:

Christianity believes in a God who acts in history. The Bible tells us the story of God's actions in Israel, culminating in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth and the spreading of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome. The issue of history is thus unavoidable when it comes to reading the Bible Volume 4 of the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series looks at how history has dominated biblical studies under the guise of historical criticism. This book explores ways in which different views of history influence interpretation. It considers the implications of a theology of history for biblical exegesis, and in several case studies it relates these insights to particular texts. 'Few topics are more central to the task of biblical interpretation than history, and few books open up the subject in so illuminating and thought-provoking a manner as this splendid collection of essays and responses.' Hugh Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Oxford, England '. . . breaks new ground in its interdisciplinary examination of the methodology, presuppositions, practices and purposes of biblical hermeneutics, with a special emphasis on the relation of faith and history.' Eleonore Stump, Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University, United States 'This volume holds great promise for the full-fledged academic recovery of the Bible as Scripture. It embodies an unusual combination of world-class scholarship, historic Christian orthodoxy, bold challenges to conventional wisdom, and the launching of fresh new ideas.' Al Wolters, Professor of Religion and Theology, Redeemer University College, Ontario, Canada 'The essays presented here respect the need and fruitfulness of a critical historiography while beginning the much-needed process of correcting the philosophical tenets underlying much modern and postmodern biblical research. The result is a book that mediates a faith understanding, both theoretical and practical, of how to read the Bible authentically as a Christian today.' Francis Martin, Chair, Catholic-Jewish Theological Studies, John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington, D.C. Not only is history central to the biblical story, but from a Christian perspective history revolves around Jesus Christ. All roads of human activity before Christ lead up to him, and all roads after Christ connect with him. A concern with history and God's action in it is a central characteristic of the Bible. The Bible furnishes us with an account of God's interactions with people and with the nation of Israel that stretches down the timeline from creation to the early church. It tells us of real men, women, and children, real circumstances and events, real cultures, places, languages, and worldviews. And it shows us God at work in human affairs, revealing his character and heart through his activities. 'Behind' the Text examines the correlation between history and the Bible. For the scholar, student, and informed reader of the Bible, this volume highlights the importance of history for biblical interpretation, and looks at how history has and should influence interpretation.

About the Author:

Craig Bartholomew (MA, Potchefstroom University, PhD, Bristol University) is professor of philosophy and biblical studies at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Reading Ecclesiastes: Old Testament Exegesis and Hermeneutical Theory. He has also edited In the Fields of the Lord: A Calvin Served Reader and co-edited Christ and Consumerism: A Critical Analysis of the Spirit of the Age. He is the series editor for the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series.

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