Tuesday, December 23, 2008

But, how far do we go?

“It should be noted that some contemporary theological exegetes zealously advocate the overthrow of most modern or critical, especially historical-critical, approaches to the Bible (those developed largely since the Enlightenment) in favor of premodern or precritical (pre- Enlightenment) exegesis. Such ancient methods (including, for example, allegorical reading of the text) had their appropriate pride of place in their day, and they still have much to teach us. It is unlikely, however, that we can or should simply return to premodern ways of reading and ignore the contributions of modern scholarship. Ironically, some advocates of precritical approaches employ very modern philosophical understandings of language and meaning to justify their rejection of modern critical methods.”—The Elements of Biblical Exegesis, page 21

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