Will a Centre Hold?
The previous chapters have shown how modern scholarship has moved again to stress the pluralism of these writings. This exacerbates the unity question. The matter is difficult enough for the gospels, Jesus, and Paul's letters. The examination of individual New Testament books for signs of unity has assumed attention to the wider issues, both historical and theological, with which the Bible is concerned. For most centuries of the Christian era, biblical studies were under the management of systematic theology or of philosophy. Since the Renaissance and Reformation, however, there has been a swing away from the dominance of dogma and philosophy over biblical exegesis, and, since the Enlightenment, more and more a move toward history as the chief frame of reference. The importance of faith in its several aspects has long been appreciated ecumenically.
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