Sunday, July 21, 2013

Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, by Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard

I have done some of my reading, but this is the first one to get my ire up a bit, so I will make a few remarks.

The second chapter is one on the history of Biblical Interpretation.  This is a very broad topic, so to be fair they likely have no hope of doing the job adequately, and any group would find a pretext for grumbling.  So with that caveat, I will start grumbling.

0. "When God created the universe (Gen 1), he was the only one there the first five days, and since Hebrew as a distinct language probably emerged ca. 1000B.C., obviously someone wrote the report later than that."

I am not quite sure how to process that.  It sounds like the authors are young earth, 6-day creationists who reject Moses and consider the Torah to be a hoax.  This anomaly is probably a combined result of committee authorship and a desire not to run afoul of statements of faith, but my hermeneutic for determining this is admittedly fairly ad hoc.

1. There is no acknowledgment of the existence of an Eastern Church.  This is a huge loss both in terms of the historical development, what they passed on to Western Europe and the fact that the Eastern Church is a huge player in Christianity today.

2. The Jewish diaspora is lumped entirely under the category of Philo of Alexandria.  From the book of Acts, I have the impression that Apollos and John the Baptist were far more influential.  After having read a big chunk of Philo's writings, I think we can reinforce this even more by asserting that few Jews would have stayed awake long enough to have been theologically influenced by Philo.

3. The Renaissance was substantially mis-characterized along the lines of modern revisionism.

4. The "Schoolmen" who figure so prominently in the Reformation and later writings don't exist in this book.

5. The atheist literature was given mention, along with the mainline response, but the mainline apostasy didn't get any mention.  This stream seems to carry into the Barth/Bultmann era, which although it is good that they retreated from modernism, I don't see them as particularly relevant to anything.  But this is acknowledged in the book:  "Conservative scholars might regard their conclusions as rather meager, ...".

6.  The only stone cast is throne at conservatives for "proof texting", which I believe is the process of trying to find support for your opinions from the text, and perhaps making a list that can be recalled later.  And the alternative is?

As usual, the only group under the sun that is not to be taken seriously is the conservatives.  The first two chapters were part of the assigned reading, and the next two chapters aren't.  But now I am curious to see what the authors say in these next two.

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