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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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Why Jowett’s Project Was Impossible

Why Jowett’s Project Was Impossible

(p.13) III Why Jowett’s Project Was Impossible
Listening to the Bible

Christopher Bryan

Oxford University Press

The problem with Jowett’s project was, as Wilhelm Dilthey saw, that the kind of objective inquiry that it requires and assumes is actually impossible for us. Even in the realm of natural sciences, and still less in the realm of human sciences, there is no such thing as a purely detached or objective approach to anything, for the very questions that we ask imply something of our own previous assumptions. Hence historical-criticism did not, and could not, protect its practitioners from “bringing to the text what they found there,” any more than could the openly faith-based approaches of earlier generations. The histories of the study of “Judaism versus Hellenism,” of the relationship of the Roman Empire to early Christianity, and, above all, of the so-called “historical Jesus,” all serve to illustrate this.

Keywords:   Dilthey, Judaism-versus-Hellenism, Christianity-and-Rome, Historical Jesus

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