August 15th,by Reggie Kelly This verse has long fascinated me. Could you elaborate and shed more light?
Does it aid or support Christian convictions, or do its principles and methodology intrinsically tend to work like an acid, slowly eroding the intellectual foundations of Christian theism as a viable worldview? Has historical criticism benefited the lay faithful by improving their understanding of the text and thereby strengthening a living Christian faith, or has the method become associated with technical expertise and specialization such that the average believer avoids the text due to fear of interpretive inadequacy?
From a Catholic point of view, has a magisterium of the academic elite been erected to compete with the Magisterium of the Church?
Must historical criticism necessarily give rise to oppositions: Nor is the question limited to the relation of professional historical criticism to the wider Christian world. For within the academy itself the debate concerning Another perspective principles and presuppositions should underwrite historical-critical methodology is often contested.
One cause of such contentiousness is the increasingly apparent Another perspective that the particular conclusions generated by the historical-critical method often differ dramatically depending upon which set of broader philosophical presuppositions guide the practitioner in plying his craft.
It is precisely such background commitments and their relation to the practice of the historical-critical method that have given rise to trenchant disagreements in the areas of both Old and New Testament studies. Minimalist scholars, citing lack of direct explicit evidence for various biblical claims concerning early Israelite history are often skeptical about the reliability of key epochal features of the biblical account such as the lives of the patriarchs, the existence of Israel in Egypt, the Exodus and wilderness wanderings, the conquest of the Canaanites, the stories of the Judges, and even the existence of a united kingdom under David and Solomon.
Examples of such scholarship might include Thomas L. Maximalist scholars, on the other hand, citing the correspondence between the chronological and factual claims of the biblical narrative with the known archaeological, linguistic, and cultural conventions of the Ancient Near East, tend to embrace the essential reliability of the Old Testament.
With respect to New Testament Scholarship, one finds a similar divergence. On the one hand, there are scholars who are skeptical concerning the historical veracity of large portions of the Gospel narrative, especially where the text touches upon claims of supernatural intervention, including the central event of the Christian story — the resurrection of Christ.
The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. On the other hand, there is a host of New Testament scholars who, while also trained and practiced in the tools and techniques of historical critical methodology, find the evidence for the essential reliability of the New Testament accounts quite compelling.
The Gospels as Eyewitness TestimonyN. What is at Stake? It is important to recognize just how high the stakes really are with respect to a proper assessment of historical criticism.
For although some practitioners are more cognizant than others concerning the impact of presuppositions upon the probative force of their conclusions, many scholars conduct their work without sufficient critical reflection upon the implicit commitments that shape their research and findings.
In some cases the conclusions of historical-critical scholars are antithetical to Christian theism at a fundamental level. It is not simply a question of better or worse exegetical results, or even the impact of the historical-critical method upon questions of biblical inspiration or inerrancy.
When situated within an anti-theistic or at least anti-supernaturalist philosophical context, historical criticism can represent a direct threat to the rational foundations of Christianity and the authority of the Church per se precisely because it challenges the basic reliability of the biblical text.
In challenging the basic reliability of the texts, this form of historical criticism undermines the traditional apologetic which renders Christian theism and the authority of the Church rationally credible as a cosmic-cultural vision of reality.
That is because the traditional apologetic that establishes the fact of a divine revelation, and therefore a specifically Christian notion of theism, depends upon establishing the basic reliability of the biblical corpus as essentially truthful human testimony, including where that testimony touches upon claims to both the prophetic and the miraculous.
Accordingly, by calling the basic historical reliability of the text into question, historical criticism can be toxic to Christian faith at a deeper level than some orthodox observers perhaps recognize.
It is not enough simply to point out that in an effort to maintain objectivity, academic historical criticism often proceeds with an a priori indifference to Christian philosophical and theological claims.
That manner of proceeding is often a condition arising from a deeper conviction. The deeper conviction held by a number of historical critical practitioners both past and present is the belief that what they have discovered about the text via critical tools and methodology has actually undermined the substantial human reliability of the biblical text, which if that were true in turn vitiates the fundamental apologetic that underwrites a Christian worldview.
In fact, to claim that some historical-critical scholars are operating with an a priori indifference to a Christian worldview is not quite right. Precisely because such scholars think that a traditional Christian cosmology has itself been discredited through the discoveries of the critical method, their refusal to recognize a limiting or supervening confessionalist framework Catholic, Protestant or otherwise from within which to conduct their trade is, for them, a matter of intellectual integrity.
For all of these reasons, the subject at hand should be of great interest and concern to all Christians. The Catholic Response What then is one to make of the value of historical criticism when it seems capable of yielding such divergent results?
One stance might be simply to reject the value of historical criticism altogether. This approach is sometimes associated with biblical fundamentalism. Another approach on the other end of the spectrum might be to accept the conclusions of historical critical scholars uncritically, overlooking altogether the impact of presuppositions upon conclusions.
In fact, operating with a presuppositional blind spot seems to characterize some historical critical scholars themselves, a weakness in no way unique to the field of biblical studies, but rather a common hazard of modern academic specialization wherein islands of intra-guild peer interaction, isolated from inter-disciplinary influences, too often breeds an unhealthy academic parochialism.
For her part, the Catholic Church has taken the path of cautious assessment and distinction, followed by conditional acceptance of the historical critical enterprise. As the practice of the historical critical method gained ascendancy within the Protestant world during the past few centuries, both its merits and weaknesses became more apparent, as well as its capacity to influence Catholic scholarship for better or worse.
Accordingly, the Magisterium of the Church was compelled to take stock of the developing situation in biblical studies and render guidance.
While each document is worthy of careful study in itself, it is sufficient here to point out three general themes which emerge from the encyclicals.Elizabeth Smart kidnapper to be released from prison Obama poked the bear with recent speech North Carolina's wild horses expected to survive hurricane.
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