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The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures Hardcover – February 29, 2016
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"Scholars, students, and all who seek to understand the nature of Scripture should consult this work."
About the Author
- Item Weight : 3.78 pounds
- Hardcover : 1248 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780802865762
- ISBN-13 : 978-0802865762
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 2.6 x 9.4 inches
- Publisher : Eerdmans (February 29, 2016)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0802865763
- Best Sellers Rank: #503,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As others have remarked, it is telling that the book does not start by developing a doctrine of scripture, but rather dedicates the first section to looking at the historical development of the authority of Scripture within the church in an attempt to show that church luminaries throughout history not only understood the Scriptures as authoritative, but inerrant. This is indicative of what the book is: An attempt to defend a predetermined understanding of the nature of Scripture, namely Inerrancy. However, this is not simply The Battle for the Bible redivivus; the essays in this volume attempt to bring fresh insight into current debates about the nature and importance of biblical authority, usually in the form of inerrancy. For those who already agree with this understanding of Scripture, it will be a welcomed addition to their library. However, it almost feels like a lost opportunity to look at just what does the Bible claim for itself, how has that been understood in the past and how might we understand those claims today. As a result, for those with differing views on the nature of scripture, even those who hold to a high, but not necessarily inerrant view, the essays will often be found lacking in evidential support, sound argumentation, or both.
Overall, this compendium of essays brings together a variety of voices, not all of whom appear to agree with each other. This is to be admired for a volume whose chief purpose is defensive. Hill’s essay on Scripture in the Patristic Period, Lane’s on Catholic perspectives since Vatican I, Vanhoozer’s on whether we may move beyond the text and Rea’s on Authority and Truth were especially insightful. Also helpful for non-specialists is Glaser’s essay on Qur’anic Challenges for the Bible Reader in the Comparative Religions section. One of the more interesting aspects of this work as a whole is that some of the individual authors seem to distance themselves from particular aspects of inerrancy as defined in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. For instance, Webb’s essay on “Biblical Authority and the Diverse Literary Genres” acknowledges inner-canonical contradictions (or “tensions,” in his words) between James and Paul, something that, on the surface at least, challenges “the unity and internal consistency of Scripture” spelled out in Article XIV of the CSBI.
There are several essays that are particularly weak. I was a bit surprised given the intellectual gravitas represented by the authors in this volume, that so many of them were of such mediocre quality. In particular, Carson’s Introduction, Dempster’s essay on The Old Testament Canon, Waltke’s essay on Myth, History and the Bible, and Birkett’s essay on Science and Scripture left too many holes in their arguments to be helpful. Carson's introduction recedes at times into ad hominem attacks and frequently appears to misread the very essays contained in this book. Dempster puts far more weight on Josephus than the evidence can bear as it relates to canon. Waltke, by defining myth is as inherently pagan, begs the question. Birkett, while providing an interesting insight into the Galileo story, end up advocating we read the Bible from some detached position, unaffected by what we learn from outside the Bible. What makes this particular essay ultimately unsatisfying is that it never gives any examples of what it would look like to do this.
In conclusion, I found this book to be surprisingly helpful in several ways. Principally, it demonstrates, possibly unwittingly, that academics are starting to move beyond the definition of inerrancy asserted by the CSBI and lays some of the theological and philosophical groundwork on how this might be done, while still maintaining what it considers the essential doctrine of inerrancy. Unfortunately, as large works likes this are wont to experience, the quality of the essays varies dramatically. Most disappointing, though, is what is missing: a rigorous look at the nature of Scripture given the biblical, archeological and textual evidence available to us in light of recent philosophical trends.
Top reviews from other countries
Permanente Gefahr: Die Bibel der Akademiker wird von der Bibel der Kirche getrennt
“What might be called the academic Bible was progressively detached from the Bible of the church. The academic Bible became a domain where scholars exercised assorted methods to re-create its distant message; the scriptural Bible calls people to repentance and faith in the crucified and risen Christ.” (D. A. Carson)
Irrtumslos – was heist es (nicht)?
“To claim that the Bible is inerrant is to focus on the Bible’s truthfulness wherever it is making a truth claim. The word is not to be confused with degrees of precision or with hermeneutical stipulation; it happily acknowledges that there are complex issues of literary genre with which to wrestle, and that not every sentence is a falsifiable proposition.” (D. A. Carson)
In einer Zeit, die – zumindest für den Bereich der Religion und der Ethik – vom Relativismus durchsetzt ist, stellt sich die Frage nach der Objektivität (in sich schon ein erklärungsbedürftiger Begriff) des Buches. Wir sind eine Buchreligion. Doch was bedeutet das für die Frage nach der Wahrheit? Welche Art von Autorität ist der Bibel eigen? Gibt es so etwas wie Bibliolatrie (Anbetung der Bibel)?
Ohne die Einleitung durch Carson würde man sich sehr verloren fühlen. Zudem ist es ein Wagnis, so viele verschiedene Autoren mitschreiben zu lassen. Soweit ich gekommen bin, wird mit dem Spannungsfeld von Einheitlichkeit vs. Vielfalt der Themen angemessen umgegangen. Schreibstil, Inhalte, Aufbau variieren stark. Wichtig ist jedoch das Vertrautwerden mit aktuellen Fragestellungen und wichtigen Argumenten bzw. Gegenargumenten.
Der Aufbau des Werkes
Das Werk ist unter der Schirmherrschaft des Neutestamentlers D. A. Carson entstanden. Die einzelnen Themen wurden in einer Zusammenkunft mit über 30 Beitragenden präsentiert, überarbeitet und – nach einigen Jahren Zwischenzeit – als Band zusammengebracht. Als Klammer dazu dient der überblickende Aufsatz am Anfang sowie die Zusammenfassung, die im Q&A-Stil gehalten ist und die Fragestellungen nochmals in aller Kürze aufgreift.
Dazwischen referieren drei Dutzend Beitragende zu vier übergeordneten Themen: Historische Überlegungen (die Schrift in der Periode der Patristiker, in der Reformation/der Orthodoxie, im 17. Jahrhundert, innerhalb des Pietismus, bei den Wesleyanern, den Old Princetonians, Karl Barth und den Katholiken); biblisch-theologische Themen (u. a. Josephus und der AT-Kanon, Barth Ehrman, Einheit und Vielfalt im Kanon, die Frage nach der doppelten Autorschaft, Mythos und Geschichte, Jesus‘ Sicht des AT, der Gebrauch des AT im NT). Der Band schliesst mit zwei kürzeren Teilen zur Frage der Epistemologie (u. a. Wissenschaft und Schrift, non-foundationalism und die Wahrheit der Schrift, Autorität und Wahrheit, die Auslegung der Texte in Gemeinschaften) sowie der vergleichenden Religionswissenschaft (Muslime, Hindus, Buddhisten).
Zitate aus dem FAQ
1. Die Bibel im Zeitalter der Authentizität: „(W)hat makes us ‘authentic’ is that we adopt an intrinsic suspicion of authorities so that we can be free to be ourselves.”
2. Zum Begriff der Irrtumslosigkeit: “There are very few words in the pantheon of theological vocabulary that don’t have to be carefully defined.”
3. Zur Wahrheitsfrage: “One cannot legitimately sideline the importance of the truthfulness of Scripture by observing, rightly, that the purpose of Scripture is more than truth-telling.”
4. Zu den Neuschöpfungen der “New Princetonians”: “Against the inroads into the doctrine of Scripture in their day, they ended up introducing innovations into the doctrine, including the affirmation of inerrancy, that were unknown before them.”
5. Barth und die Inspirationslehre: “He refuses to speak of the Bible as itself inspired, but links together what is traditionally called the inspiration of Scripture and the illumination of the believer into one whole.”
Carson betont wiederholt, dass Gottes Geist nicht an der Schrift vorbei kommuniziert. „Even when Paul appeals to the work of the Spirit in conversion (e.g., 1 Cor. 2:10b-16), he does not envisage the Spirit’s work as establishing a text-free revelatory insight, but as enabling sin-blinded sinners to see what is actually there in the text.”
Und bei aller Diversität des weltweiten Gottesvolkes gilt es zu bedenken: “The Africa Bible Commentary devotes more attention than do Western one-volume Bible commentaries to exorcism, to questions surrounding ancestor worship, and to challenging the “health, wealth, and prosperity gospel.” But what is most striking about the volume is that 90 or 95 percent of its content could be read and understood by, and could have been written by, believing Christians in virtually any part of the world. That should not surprise us: after all, we do share the same Book.”
Dieses Buch hilft enorm, zu aktuellen Thesen eine Antwort zu bekommen, z. B. „In the last half-century, many periods in the history of the church have been churned over afresh to demonstrate either that (a) historical criticism goes back a lot farther than many people think, or, more commonly, that (b) orthodoxy, and especially an orthodox view of Scripture, are rather late developments, so they can, and perhaps should, be held rather lightly.”