“If They Only Knew What I Thought”: The Sad Cycle of Evangelical Biblical Scholarship

I wish I had kept a list. I’ve had far too many conversations over the last few years with trained, experienced, and practicing biblical scholars, young, middle aged, and near retirement, working in Evangelical institutions, trying to follow Jesus and use their brains and training to help students navigate the challenging world of biblical interpretation. And they are [Read More...]

When did the Old Testament become the Old Testament? a crash course in the form of a chart

Last year, an English translation of Konrad Schmid’s (University of Zurich) approach to the literary history of the Old Testament–i.e., when the bits and pieces of the Old Testament originated and when they all came together to form a book–was published with the title The Old Testament: A Literary History. I haven’t read the book, but [Read More...]

What Biblical Scholars Do (since you were likely losing sleep about it)

Biblical scholars build models. A model is a way of accounting for as much of the available data as possible in as coherent and persuasive manner as possible, producing along the way as little cognitive dissonance as possible. A model is a hypothesis of what the “big picture” looks like. Models do not focus on biblical issues [Read More...]

Historical Criticism and Evangelicalism: A Uneasy Relationship (my post at respectfulconversation.net)

Over at Respectful Conversation, Harold Heie is continuing his series “American Evangelicalism: Present Conditions, Future Possibilities.” This month’s topic is “Evangelicalism and the Modern Study of Scripture.” My contribution to this topic is “Historical Criticism and Evangelicalism: An Uneasy Relationship. The purpose of this post is to offer a constructive description of the nature of [Read More...]

Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism (a new book on a recurring problem)

Today we have an interview with Dr. Christopher M. Hays (DPhil, University of Oxford), who, along with Christopher B. Ansberry, has edited Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism. Hays and Ansberry have brought together a dozen evangelical scholars to tackle some of the more vexing challenges of historical criticism—such as Adam, unfulfilled prophecy, the historical Jesus—and [Read More...]


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