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Ancient Laws and Contemporary ControversiesThe Need for Inclusive Biblical Interpretation$
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Cheryl Anderson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305500.001.0001

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The Protestant Reformers and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation

The Protestant Reformers and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation

(p.111) 5 The Protestant Reformers and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation
Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies

Cheryl B. Anderson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Contrary to traditional belief, Protestant tradition offers precedent for the contextual readings of Scripture that liberationists encourage. In re‐interpreting the Bible, the Reformers read the Bible theologically and contextually, taking into account the socio‐historical contexts of their respective faith communities. Each reformer thought the Word of God was something more dynamic than adherence to the literal words of the Bible, employing such critical interpretive norms as Christ's Incarnation or revelation (Luther and Wesley) or God's will for humanity (Wesley). For the Reformers, the Bible becomes the Word of God where the gospel is proclaimed in preaching and teaching (Luther and Calvin) and where the gospel demands and permits ever‐more‐exact moral fulfillment of the law (Wesley). Despite the Reformers' “mixed legacy” on women, the poor, and people of color, their ways of interpreting the Bible offer a basis for contextual readings today.

Keywords:   authority, Calvin, context, inspiration, liberationist critique, Luther, preaching, Protestant Reformers, Scripture, Wesley

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