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Listening to the BibleThe Art of Faithful Biblical Interpretation$
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Christopher Bryan and David Landon

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336593.001.0001

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How Did We Get Here?

How Did We Get Here?

Chapter:
(p.5) II How Did We Get Here?
Source:
Listening to the Bible
Author(s):

Christopher Bryan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336593.003.0002

The beginnings of what we know as “historical-criticism” may reasonably be traced to the hermeneutical proposals of Schleiermacher, taken up with enthusiasm in the English-speaking world by proponents such as Benjamin Jowett. We were to understand that texts could have only one meaning, that is, the meaning intended by their authors and understood by their first audience. To relate biblical texts to later creeds and controversies was a barrier to understanding them. In contrast with earlier hermeneutic, the new approach would ask precise questions of the texts, and precise answers would be given. Undoubtedly historical-criticism has had its successes and bestowed its benefits, notably in the area of textual criticism and our understanding of the historical setting of early Christianity and of early Judaism. But it has not delivered anything like the precise answers that its original proponents hoped for, but rather seems to many to have produced merely a dark forest of hypotheses and disagreements.

Keywords:   Schleiermacher, Hermeneutic, Historical-criticism, Jowett

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