New HBT issue online, great article on Goldingay

New HBT issue online, great article on Goldingay June 19, 2013

It has come to my attention that Horizons in Biblical Theology recently published their 35.1 (2013) issue, which contains a nice essay on John Goldingay (Fuller) by Thomas Andrew Bennett. The article is entitled, “Ruled, Creedal, and Located: The Theological Interpretation of John Goldingay.”
A few years back, I interviewed Goldingay on my blog and at one point I asked him about the so-called Theological Interpretation of Scripture movement. Goldingay, to my surprise, bristled at the idea of letting tradition govern interpretation. I believe his exact words were, ” I am passionately opposed to conforming the reading of scripture to the church’s creeds and traditions.” Well, Bennett, as a student at Fuller currently and someone who is acquainted with Goldingay personally (and a fellow fan of his writings), took it upon himself to show that Goldingay actually looks more like an advocate and exemplar of TIS than he claims.

[abstract] John Goldingay has tried to distance his exegetical practice from theological interpretation. Close readings of Goldingay’s own pronouncements and interpretive practice, in combination with insights from philosophical hermeneutics, however, indicate that he may be protesting too much. The present essay demonstrates that Goldingay’s working method operates under the rule of faith, in accordance with the creeds, and from an ideological location. It recommends Goldingay’s working method as an exemplar for those who wish to practice fresh, theologically informed, and exegetically sensitive readings of Scripture.

Bennett was kind enough to share this essay with me and I found it very engaging. Anyone interested in hermeneutics (and that should be everyone, by the way) should check this out.


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  • I find it fascinating that many evangelical Old Testament scholars feel this way.
    Jon Levenson once wrote how Christians needed to do their scholarship from a distinctively Christian position.
    Scientist, Michael Polanyi and Moral Philosopher, Alasdair MacIntyre, “Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry” have set the framework for understanding there is no neutral place from which to interpret anything.
    Then Christians come to the text through the receiving of canon. So to assume we interpret anything without that canonical heritage, long past, simply is silly.
    Finally Gadamer’s “ontology of play” definitively sets the parameters as being canonical and Ricoeur’s “The Rule of Metaphor” and “Time and Narrative” give us the perspective as Ricoeur quoting Frank Kermode said “the end of the story defines how the story is to be read”.
    I wish we could come to understand how important theological Hermeneutics are.