Theology changes its mind (part 2)

Bible_paperHow to interpret the Bible

Before we can look at how we are to interpret the Bible in the light of science we have to define how we have to look at scripture.

Now I come from an Evangelical tradition as well as an Anglican tradition. I really want to see if it is possible to look at the Bible as an Evangelical that is different to that traditionally taught, even within Evangelicalism. Even within a sola scriptura (scripture alone) traditional view.

To limit myself further I am using the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy as my framework for looking at the Bible. So not just the constraints of Evangelicalism, but a conservative strand therein. I’ll particularly will be using this:

Article XVIII.

WE AFFIRM  that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture.

WE DENY  the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.

And this:

We affirm that canonical Scripture should always be interpreted on the basis that it is infallible and inerrant. However, in determining what the God-taught writer is asserting in each passage, we must pay the most careful attention to its claims and character as a human production. In inspiration, God utilized the culture and conventions of His penman’s milieu, a milieu that God controls in His sovereign providence; it is misinterpretation to imagine otherwise.

So history must be treated as history, poetry as poetry, hyperbole and metaphor as hyperbole and metaphor, generalization and approximation as what they are, and so forth. Differences between literary conventions in Bible times and in ours must also be observed: since, for instance, non-chronological narration and imprecise citation were conventional and acceptable and violated no expectations in those days, we must not regard these things as faults when we find them in Bible writers.

That is my framework. Wish me luck.



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