Dr. Platypus

Category Archives: Bible

August 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

Posted at Eis Doxan. Enjoy!

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The “New and Improved” Perspective on Paul?

Scot McKnight is working through Stephen Chester’s Reading Paul with the Reformers at his JesusCreed blog. (Here’s part 1; here’s part 2.) In today’s blog post, he interacts in some detail with a passage from Chester that takes issue with the New Perspective’s assertion that the Reformers missed Paul’s point about justification by faith. I’m not sure that all NP supporters would agree that the Reformers were wrong so much as they placed the emphasis in the wrong place, but others are certainly deeper into this debate than I am. McKnight summarizes Chester’s questions thusly:

Chester begins with Luther and Erasmus and more importantly uses them for the hermeneutical dichotomy they created: Should we do “theological interpretation” (Luther) or historical critical work (Erasmus), and is the Bible clear in all it says (Luther) but difficult at times (Erasmus), and does the ambiguity of Scripture create problems (Erasmus) or is it a false approach (Luther)?

Chester elaborates on several key points of disagreement between Luther and Erasmus on the proper interpretation of Scripture. This leads, ultimately, to a threefold criterion for discerning the best interpretations, namely:

The conflict of interpretations is thus best addressed by a mixed hermeneutic. The goal of hearing the Spirit speak through Paul in his texts is served by applying the triple criteria of

historical plausibility,
canonical consistency,
and contemporary theological fruitfulness.

McKnight suggests Chester is “doing the newer new perspective, one that appreciates too the Reformers’ reading of Paul.”

 

Enns: On Reading the Old Testament

Pete Enns has delineated “5 Modern Insights about the Old Testament that Aren’t Going Anywhere.” They are as follows:

  1. The Old Testament is an ancient Near Eastern phenomenon
  2. “Myth” is an inescapable category for describing portions of the Old Testament
  3. Israelites did not write their history “objectively”
  4. The Old Testament does not contain one systematic and consistent body of “truth” but various, and even conflicting, perspectives.
  5. The Old Testament “evolved” over time until it came to its final expression.

Each point is elaborated in just a few paragraphs, which are well worth your time. He concludes, and I concur:

There is much more to the Old Testament than these 5 points, of course. And accepting the Old Testament as scripture doesn’t depend on fully working out these 5 points. In fact, whosoever wishes can safely ignore all of this and move on with their lives of faith. I mean that.

But when we want to dig into why the Bible “behaves” as it does, and especially if we are curious about engaging the Bible on a historical level, these 5 factors simply can’t be brushed aside.

Do read the whole thing.

May 2017 Biblical Studies Blog Carnival

Thatjeffcarter has the honor of hosting this month’s Carnival. Enjoy!

March 2012 Biblical Studies Carnival

An epic-length five-part blog carnival is now posted for your enlightenment at Jonathan Robinson’s ξἐνος blog. So be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

February 2017 Carnival

Hosted for your reading pleasure by Pursuing Veritas.

January 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

Cassandra Farrin has the honor this month of collecting the best of biblioblogging for your reading pleasure. Go see her post at the Westar Institute blog!