Jesus, Paul, the Law, and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation
Christians commonly believe that the New Testament “does away with” the laws of the Hebrew Bible, but Jesus and Paul are seen instead to embrace the continuing relevance of the laws while rejecting interpretations that exclude or burden the marginalized. In their own re‐interpretations of the laws, Jesus and Paul grounded their understandings in biblical texts and traditions, considered the impact of their readings on marginalized groups (the poor, the less educated, women, slaves, the gentiles), and identified as an interpretive norm God's absolute requirement to love one's neighbor. The interpretive norm of “love” is sometimes suspect today, and in Christian history, the “love” of the (white, affluent, male, heterosexual) dominant interpreters for the “Other” is characterized by control and condescension. However, this chapter argues that a love grounded in a willingness to be silent and listen may yet promise the development of genuinely inclusive interpretive communities.
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