Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bible Hermeneutic Meme

Mark memed me. The idea is to list five scholars or books that changed your hermeneutic approach to the Bible. It's actually a very difficult meme for me; I can't really trace any major elements of my approach to reading Scripture to any books I can think of, beyond the fact that I think one of the things that the Bible does is provide models for how to read the Bible, models that should be emulated in practice. But there have been a few works that enriched my thinking about various aspects of reading Scripture. Here are a few.

(1) Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis. What it says on the tin. The medievals have their faults, but they were better readers than most moderns.

(2) Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages. Similar thing here, although Smalley focuses less on the spiritual senses and more on the literal sense.

(3) Luke Timothy Johnson, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation. Very readable, and I like his general approach, although I didn't agree with all of his conclusions when I read this back in college.

(4) C. S. Lewis, Miracles. Even setting aside the discussion of miracles as such, this little work sheds quite a bit of light on miracle stories. Chapters 14, 15, and 16 are especially notable in this regard.

(5) The works of Brevard Childs: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture, The New Testament as Canon, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context. I haven't read Childs in a long while, but I found him quite helpful in college.

But in the end there's no mystery about Scriptural hermeneutics: it's reading and praying and researching and learning, over and over again.

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