Themelios on the Embattled Bible

May 10, 2009

"Quite apart from commentaries and hermeneutical textbooks, books on the Bible—its nature and ultimately its authority—have been appearing with daunting frequency of late. To list just some of the titles from the last few years:

"Published 2005:

  1. Donald Bloesch, Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration, and Interpretation
  2. Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament
  3. Walter Brueggemann, The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology
  4. Kevin Vanhoozer, ed., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible
  5. N. T. Wright, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture

"Published 2006:

  1. A. K. M. Adam, Faithful Interpretation: Reading the Bible in a Postmodern World
  2. Roland Boer, Rescuing the Bible
  3. Hoi Chee An and Katheryn Pfisterer Darr, eds., Engaging the Bible: Critical Readings from Contemporary Women
  4. Linda Day and Carolyn Pressler, eds., Engaging the Bible in a Gendered World: An Introduction to Feminist Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Katharine Doob Sakenfeld
  5. John Douglas Morrison, Has God Said? Scripture, The Word of God, and the Crisis of Theological Authority
  6. Clark H. Pinnock with Barry L. Callen, The Scripture Principle: Reclaiming the Full Authority of the Bible, 2nd ed.

"Published 2007:

  1. Craig Allert, A High View of Scripture? The Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon
  2. William P. Brown, Engaging Biblical Authority: Perspectives on the Bible As Scripture
  3. Joel B. Green, Seized by Truth: Reading the Bible as Scripture

"Published 2008:

  1. G. K. Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority
  2. Marcus Bockmuehl and Alan Torrance, eds., Scripture’s Doctrine and Theology’s Bible: How the New Testament Shapes Christian Dogmatics
  3. Craig Evans and Emanuel Tov, eds., Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective

"Clearly it would be impossible in brief compass even to summarize this wide-ranging discussion (and more books could be listed). It is also being carried on, of course, in scores of journal articles, not just in English and in North America but around the world in numerous languages. It will be years before the dust settles (assuming it does) and we gain the distance necessary fully to assess developments currently unfolding. It seems everyone is weighing in. A sea change may be underway.

"This essay will attempt to highlight and reflect on four additional studies that add their voices to this spirited and sometimes contentious conversation. The first two appeared in 2007. The other two were published in 2008. Since all four authors are or have been faculty at evangelical universities or seminaries, the witness of these books affords, among other things, an informative snapshot of how the Bible is understood at present in circles traditionally associated with a high view of Scripture."

- TEDS professor, Bob Yarbrough

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