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: 21 July 2019

Navigating the Loss of Interpretive Innocence

Navigating the Loss of Interpretive Innocence

Reading the “Enlightenment” Bible in Early Modern America

(p.63) 4 Navigating the Loss of Interpretive Innocence
The Bible in American Life

Robert E. Brown

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the theological reassessment of the Bible’s infallibility that was made necessary by its reconsideration as a historical artifact. That the form and content of the Bible was subject to historical processes raised substantive questions for early modern thinkers regarding how to understand its divine nature as inspired revelation. Cotton Mather addressed these issues directly in his essay on Inspiration in his Biblia Americana. For Mather, the concept of inspiration itself required reconsideration, in order to account for the simultaneously divine and human contribution to the authorship of biblical texts. Mather allowed for factors such as human authors’ rational deliberation, personality, and scientific ignorance to fall within the scope of inspiration, and he developed a theory of inspiration that ranged from complete divine control to simple influence, one that could encompass the full range of human elements that were evident in the authorship of biblical texts.

Keywords:   inspiration, Cotton Mather, Biblia Americana, Bible, infallibility

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 .