The Bible in Human Transformation
Toward a New Paradigm in Bible Studies
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Title Page, Copyright
Preface to the 2010 Edition
...I can honestly say that my desire to enliven Bible reading has not changed in the intervening decades. What has changed is that in these decades I have personally experienced the oppression of peoples in South Africa and Chile under dictatorships and have known those who have struggled with poverty and suffering...
...This essay springs from a particular context which at one and the same time limits its general applicability and gives it whatever relevance it may possess. It is directed to the American theological scene and is written by a white male in a liberal Protestant seminary...
1. The Bankruptcy of the Biblical Critical Paradigm
...Historical biblical criticism is bankrupt. I use “bankrupt” in the exact sense of the term. A business which goes bankrupt is not valueless, nor incapable of producing useful products. It still has an inventory of expensive parts, a large capital outlay, a team of trained personnel, a certain reputation, and usually, until the day bankruptcy is declared, a façade which ...
2. Is Biblical Study Undergoing a Paradigm Shift?
...In a period when it has become all too stylish to speak of the “death” of the old ways, it is necessary to stress once more that we are declaring a bankruptcy, not holding a wake. It is because biblical criticism has so much of value which must be preserved that it is urgent that it come under new management ...
3. Toward a New Paradigm for Biblical Study
...Between the naïveté of uncritical fusion with the horizon of one’s own heritage and the sundering of that unity by the distance of objectification lies a moment of negativity which can be variously described as suspicion, alienation, doubt, detachment, temptation, or death. And between this alienated distance and the birth of communion ...
...It has been all too easy for us scholars to deceive ourselves about our situation. Even the excitement with which we have greeted each new technique has been due in part to the vain hope that it might solve the field’s basic anomaly. Form and redaction criticism, now more recently audience criticism, structuralism, psychohistory...
...I will refer to him as Walter in the rest of this afterword. The first sentence of this small but important book is startling, bold, and memorable. It sounds like the start of a manifesto: “Historical biblical criticism is bankrupt.” Like most bold statements, it is an overstatement—but one that contained truth when it was written and still contains truth almost four decades later...