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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 4:07 AM

Mark Barnes:
They're mainly from the liberal-critical

Hello Mark,

I have heard of text-critical, historical-critical, narrative-critical, rhetorical-critical, ...-critical ways to study the scripture, but I have not heard of liberal-critical approach.  Can you please define this term for me.  Thanks

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 5:41 AM

tom collinge:
 Can you please define this term for me.

Can't speak for the other Mark, but I read it as liberal and critical. Liberal in overall theological leaning and critical (the methods you mentioned) in approach. Perhaps Mark meant something different.

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Bridgeport, CT USA

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 5:41 AM

Sorry, it would be better expressed as liberal/critical rather than liberal-critical. 'Liberal' is an attempt to sum up the theological perspective, 'critical' an attempt to sum up the method. (I appreciate 'liberal' as many different meanings. I'm using it in the sense of the COED: "regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change".

<edit>The other Mark beat me to it, but obviously great Marks think alike!</edit>

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 6:02 AM

Jason Kuo:

Hey Dan,

I'm only considering the OT set. Here's my reasoning:

  1. Within Logos, there are more NT-only sets available of exceptional quality as compared to OT-only (see NIGTC, BECNT, PNTC, and others, many of which include some of the best ones on their respective books).

Thanks for your thoughts, Jason.  I was thinking about that, too.  I also have more NT than OT. But at the same time, the few times I have used Hermeneia, the entries seemed really compact and brief . . . I realize the volumes are more -critical than theological, but do any OT volumes ever get into extended discussion, or offer very good background or parallel resource material?

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Wilson Hines | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 6:22 AM

Mark Barnes:

Sorry, it would be better expressed as liberal/critical rather than liberal-critical. 'Liberal' is an attempt to sum up the theological perspective, 'critical' an attempt to sum up the method. (I appreciate 'liberal' as many different meanings. I'm using it in the sense of the COED: "regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change".

<edit>The other Mark beat me to it, but obviously great Marks think alike!</edit>

Mark in the quote which I put up on my blog you wrote that it was "It’s not very theological, but will often pay close attention to historical background."  I took that to mean that as far as theology, Hermeneia didn't really take sides on issues; that the commentary was an academic look at the history, background, and growth of the content.  

When I think of "Liberal" I too have two very different trains of thought running through my head.  The first is liberal theology whereas they actively either attempt to disprove a fundamental of the faith or they hold those anti-fundamental leanings (whether or not those leanings make it into the text).  The other Liberal doesn't even fit in this discussion, therefore I will not even head down that rabbit trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson Hines

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 7:20 AM

Wilson Hines:
Mark in the quote which I put up on my blog you wrote that it was "It’s not very theological, but will often pay close attention to historical background."  I took that to mean that as far as theology, Hermeneia didn't really take sides on issues; that the commentary was an academic look at the history, background, and growth of the content.  

Yes, that's the principle they espouse. The foreword to each commentary says: "The editors of Hermeneia impose no systematic–theological perspective upon the series (directly, or indirectly by selection of authors). It is expected that authors will struggle to lay bare the ancient meaning of a biblical work or pericope. In this way the text’s human relevance should become transparent, as is always the case in competent historical discourse."

Wilson Hines:
they hold those anti-fundamental leanings (whether or not those leanings make it into the text)

'Fundamental' is probably even less well-defined than 'liberal', so I'll leave 'fundamental' out of it! I'm not suggesting that the Hermeneia commentators actively attempt to disprove fundamentals of faith (although they will sometimes say 'this text doesn't prove this doctrine' [sometimes correctly, sometimes not], without passing judgement as to whether other texts do prove the doctrine).

However, it's vital to understand that there are no 'neutral' perspectives from which to view the text. Ignoring theology when it is in the text doesn't mean you're not taking sides. You are still taking a theological perspective - that is an anti-theological perspective! The Hermeneia commentaries inevitably fall into this trap at times.

I'll give you one sentence as an example. It's a comment on the feeding of the 5,000: "we probably will have to give up here the search for a historical kernel in the sense of a single event, unless one simply wants to affirm it contrary to all verifiable experience."

So, from one perspective it's not taking a stand (the footnote points to one commentator suggesting a miracle, and two more suggesting otherwise). But from another perspective it's sceptical. The very next sentence reads, "…because the feeding story does not have such a historical kernel but is a symbolic story shaped from reminiscences, needs, experiences, and traditions…". The commentator clearly doesn't believe that the gospels are an historical document, which would be typical of those in the 'liberal' camp.

Now in the end, he gets there: "Important for Matthew… was the absolute sovereignty of Jesus, who concretely demonstrates his power over illnesses and hunger. It was important for him that the people once more experienced the power and the attention of their Messiah."

And if he gets there, does it matter that he himself doesn't believe what Matthew believes? That's for you to decide. As I said earlier, I've found the series useful in academic work, though much less so for preaching.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 7:32 AM

Mark Barnes:
As I said earlier, I've found the series useful in academic work, though much less so for preaching.

Which I have heard you say before.  But your reminder helped me to decide NOT to get the series right now, even at this good price.  I have limited dollars--and while I like academic rigor and interchange, that is not my focus or need right now. 

Peace.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Dennis Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 7:39 AM

Mark Barnes:

And if he gets there, does it matter that he himself doesn't believe what Matthew believes? That's for you to decide. As I said earlier, I've found the series useful in academic work, though much less so for preaching.

Matters to me.

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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 9:33 AM

Thanks Mark,

This is what I was thinking that you were thinking, but I just wanted to make sure.  When I first read you post, it did come across to me that you were saying that only people who have 'liberal theology' engage in the various academic critical methods.  As we all know, people from across the theological spectrum engage scripture using the various academic methods.

Mark Barnes:
I've found the series useful in academic work, though much less so for preaching.

Same here, but I do use it for my Bible studies.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 27 2010 12:03 PM

Dennis Miller:

Mark Barnes:

And if he gets there, does it matter that he himself doesn't believe what Matthew believes? That's for you to decide. As I said earlier, I've found the series useful in academic work, though much less so for preaching.

Matters to me.

Dennis, It matters to me too, insomuch as I would not rely on it as a preaching resource. I do relish it as an academic resource. The factual discoveries could often be beneficial even in sermon preparation. Much as William Barclay dismisses miraculous events in the Gospels but still comes up with amazing perspectives that benefit preachers who do believe the accounts of miracles. I usually hear a disclaimer from the pulpit whenever a preacher quotes Barclay. 

As Mark Barnes stated, Hermeneia delves into background material much more than attempting to develope a theological conclusion. I find it refreshing. A less technical commentary from the Lutheran perspective is the Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament (15 Vols.)  http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/4292
I have it on Pre-Pub for it's practical application of the Bible to daily Christian living.

If you don't have need or interest in deeper research into backgrounds there are plenty of practical ministry resources in Logos that will aid you in the how-to without consuming your precious study time. You won't need Hermeneia to prepare for an evangelistic crusade  but it will come in handy teaching a Bible college class.

 

 

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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Wilson Hines | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 2 2010 5:30 PM

 

 

Got my Hermeneia and I also picked up a couple more things like the Textual Criticism Bundle and the Sheffield Reader set.  Fantastic tools, can't wait for the indexing to finish!

 

Anybody else?

Wilson Hines

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