Jim West on Historical Criticism and Theological Exegesis

This is pretty easy, actually. I think that we have to have critical analysis of the text in order to give  a better theological exegesis. Yes, I agree that too often, theologians see the two wholly separated, but that doesn’t need to be. Anyway, Jim has a good send up at the Bible and Interpretation site today,

But have the various methodological tools really assisted scholars in untangling the textual web or have they left their practitioners with more questions than answers? And if they simply provoke more questions, then what is their ultimate purpose or “end game”?


To say it a bit differently, historical-critical tools are useful but in and of themselves inadequate.

But Jim, isn’t theological exegesis really eisegesis?

Most certainly not. Theological exegesis is dependent upon a text correctly established, words correctly defined, and Sitz im Leben as clearly delimited as possible.

via The Bible and Interpretation.

I hope that people will take some of the fine work produced in the critical fields and use it to correct theological exegesis, but I doubt it…

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