Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Bible in American Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Thuesen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 July 2019

The Debate over Prophetic Evidence for the Authority of the Bible in Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana

The Debate over Prophetic Evidence for the Authority of the Bible in Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana

Chapter:
(p.48) 3 The Debate over Prophetic Evidence for the Authority of the Bible in Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana
Source:
The Bible in American Life
Author(s):

Jan Stievermann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.003.0003

This chapter discusses the colonial origins of the ongoing debates in American Protestantism over prophetic evidence. It examines Cotton Mather’s notes on the book of Isaiah from his hitherto unpublished Bible commentary “Biblia Americana” (1693–1728), a work reflecting both the intellectual challenges of the Enlightenment and the rise of evangelicalism. Mather was the first American exegete to wrestle with the question how, in the light of new textual and historical scholarship, Christian apologetics could still legitimately point to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in the New. The essay focuses on Mather’s changing interpretations of Isaiah 7:14 with its famous prophecy of the virgin birth, which continues to be a litmus test for interpreters. Mather came to insist on a literalist-factualist understanding of this prophecy but was ambiguous about allowing for a first historical fulfillment prior to Christ—a predicament that still preoccupies evangelical scholarship today.

Keywords:   Cotton Mather, Biblia Americana, prophetic evidence, history of biblical interpretation, history of bible translation, early evangelicalism, early Enlightenment, Jonathan Edwards

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .