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The Ubiquity of Theological Interpretation

Two things happened this week that reminded me that theological interpretation is a hot topic right now.

1) We received a copy of the Baker Academic Catalog in the office and the lead promotions were all books and commentaries on theological interpretation.
2) I overheard a conversation in a faculty meeting about the split between SBL and AAR. Someone commented that they noticed more “theological” sections in SBL this year than ever before.

This got me to thinking about the “bridge” discipline of theological interpretation. In the last 10-15 years more and more books, many of them collections of articles that came out of conferences and colloquia, have been published that deal with theological interpretation either directly or by way of some other conversation that seeks to bridge the chasm between theology and biblical studies. See for example:

  • A.K.M. Adam, Stephen Fowl, Kevin Vanhoozer and Francis Watson, Reading Scripture with the Church: Toward a Hermeneutic for Theological Interpretation (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2006).
  • The new series, Studies in Theological Interpretation, edited by Craig Bartholomew, Joel Green and Christopher Seitz (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic).
  • Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hays, eds., The Art of Reading Scripture (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2003).
  • Joel B. Green and Max Turner, eds., Between Two Horizons: Spanning New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2000).
  • The six volumes (and growing) of the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, edited by Craig Bartholomew and Anthony C. Thiselton (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2000-2005).
  • Vincent Bacote, Laura C. Miguélez, and Dennis L. Okholm, eds., Evangelicals and Scripture: Tradition, Authority and Hermeneutics (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004).
  • David Ford and Graham N. Stanton, eds., Reading Texts, Seeking Wisdom: Scripture and Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2003).
  • Stephen Fowl, ed., The Theological Interpretation of Scripture: Classic and Contemporary Readings, Blackwell Readings in Modern Theology (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1997)
  • The Journal of Religion 76:2 (April 1996), which is subtitled “The Bible and Christian Theology,” and which arose out of a conference of the same name held May 7-9, 1995 at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
  • As well, one should consider the emergence of the journal Ex auditu, which came about for the very purpose of addressing questions of theological interpretation.
  • Finally, see the two theological commentary series mentioned in an earlier post.

It seems odd to me that at the moment when theology and biblical studies are conversing more than ever that the two societies, with whom most theologians and biblical scholars associate, are moving apart.

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1 Comment»

  hystar wrote @

I have found a Bible study method I have been using for nearly 30 years. It is based on how Jesus taught. I just started a new site that I am posting some of my Bible studies to. I would appreciate any comments you may have.

http://hystar.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/parable-of-the-sower-explains-how-to-study-the-bible/


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