SUGGESTION: Lexham Survey of Bible Interpretation

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jan 21 2020 3:37 PM

Yes, I am nearly done with my suggestions. But this one is a high value product.

Logos/Verbum as a product is focused on Bible Study but with forays into theology and homiletics. There is one major element of Bible Study that is missing from the tool set - a survey of the methods of Biblical interpretation. What we need is a very simple, factual (not interpretative or evaluative) description of biblical criticism throughout time. This would be a significant help in understanding older texts as well as providing references for learning new interpretative skills. What I envision for an entry is:

1. Name of interpretative method/criticism

2. Brief description of the interpretative method

3. Questions asked by the method (See Open letter to Faithlife on overall direction for a broader introduction.)

4. Links to (a) top discussions of the method and (b) examples of the method in practice.

It is important that both Jewish and Christian methods be included. I would also suggest that Faithlife create an initial edition with an explicit invitation for additional entries from the users. The intent would be that professors could insure that there were entries appropriate to their courses.

Examples of prime resources from which to glean the information:

  • Hauser, Alan J., and Duane F. Watson, eds. A History of Biblical Interpretation: multivolume Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003.
  • McKim, Donald K., ed. Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters. Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 2007.
  • Old, Hughes Oliphant. multi-volume. The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998.
  • Osborne, Grant R., and Stephen B. Woodward. Handbook for Bible Study. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1979.
  • Reventlow, Henning Graf. History of Biblical Interpretation (multivolume). Edited by Susan Ackerman and Tom Thatcher. Translated by Leo G. Perdue.  Society of Biblical Literature Resources for Biblical Study. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.
  • Simonetti, Manlio. Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church: An Historical Introduction to Patristic Exegesis. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1994.
  • Taylor, Marion Ann, and Agnes Choi, eds. Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters: A Historical and Biographical Guide. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.
  • Uffenheimer, Benjamin, and Henning Graf Reventlow, eds. Creative Biblical Exegesis: Christian and Jewish Hermeneutics through the Centuries. Vol. 59. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988.
  • Vanhoozer, Kevin J., Craig G. Bartholomew, Daniel J. Treier, and N. T. Wright, eds. Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. London; Grand Rapids, MI: SPCK; Baker Academic, 2005.
  • Zetterholm, Karin Hedner. Jewish Interpretation of the Bible: Ancient and Contemporary. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Doug Mangum | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 21 2020 4:30 PM

While not as exhaustive as what you appear to be suggesting (in terms of methods covered), I'd intended the Lexham Methods Series to be a step in this direction. But a more concise, organized survey (following an outline/format similar to what you proposed at the link listed in #3) seems useful. I'm adding this to my "ideas for potential projects" list. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 21 2020 5:24 PM

Doug Mangum:
I'd intended the Lexham Methods Series to be a step in this direction.

Your efforts are a successful step in this direction and probably should have been included in my list of references. I'm glad this made it onto a potential projects list.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 21 2020 8:38 PM

Yes

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 22 2020 1:09 PM

MJ. Smith:
What we need is a very simple, factual (not interpretative or evaluative) description of biblical criticism throughout time.

[emphasis added]

To do this would require more work than your post linked in 3. seems to suggest... but it would also be much more valuable. What was Augustine's methodology for interpreting the Scriptures? Chrysostom's? Origen's? The Apostolic Fathers'? Aquinas's? What of the early scholastics? What was the methodology of St. Athanasius and his Arian opponents in the mid-4th century? What of the methodologies of Palamas, Bellarmine, Luther, Calvin, and Maimonides? Etc.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 22 2020 1:31 PM

SineNomine:
To do this would require more work than your post linked in 3. seems to suggest... but it would also be much more valuable.

I tried to indicate the breadth in my selection of resources - the example in the other post is simply that - an example based upon a single document. Cavalho is a bit broader but still a very slim volume

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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