Modern Approaches To The New Testament


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Slides for Jon Kohler's Amarillo College Bible Chair SW World Religions Class, Spring 2010.

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Modern Approaches To The New Testament

  1. 1. “ Modern approaches to the New Testament”
  2. 2. Two ways of Reading the NT: <ul><li>Objective rational = English Deist </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective experiential = Peitist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doctrines to hold while reading the NT: Inspiration of scripture, divinity of Jesus Christ, the sovereignty of a personal God in the world who does miracles like raise his crucified Son to life, and the final day of judgment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making the NT like any other book </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Necessity of Criticism: <ul><li>Criticism…what does critical mean? </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need for interpretation and this involves criticism </li></ul>
  4. 4. Roots of Historical criticism: <ul><li>Enlightenment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bible is interpreted apart from the church and in light of human reason </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus was not the divine Son of God, and he did not teach about salvation through his death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Miracles cannot happen: Analogy principle. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bible is offensive to the modern mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only way to interpret is the historical way </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Contribution and limitations of Historical criticism. <ul><li>The positive nature of Source, Form, redaction, and literary analysis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: not as promising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Form: Genre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>redaction: editing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literary analysis: context…etc. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Promise of Hermeneutics: <ul><li>“ Hermeneutics refers to the theory and practice of interpretation.” </li></ul><ul><li>What are the necessary conditions for apprehending and entering into fruitful dialogue with its message? </li></ul><ul><li>What methods are most important for analyzing the data? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the aims that shape our observation and the application of our findings? </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Promise of Hermeneutics: <ul><li>Conditions for the interpreter: Mental capability, regeneration “Hermeneutics when utilized to interpret the Scripture is a spiritual act, depending upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.”, must be seen as divine revelation, progressive revelation, and genre recognition. </li></ul><ul><li>Methods: textual criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, literary criticism, canonical criticism, sociological criticism and structuralism (views the text as an autonomous object). </li></ul><ul><li>The rise of many theologies to justify man </li></ul><ul><li>Studying the NT should have a doxological aim: Leads to worship of God. </li></ul><ul><li>The NT was written in and for the community of faith, the church; thus, its interpretation should enhance the community of faith. </li></ul>
  8. 8. “ The Modern search for Jesus”
  9. 9. The Search for the Real Jesus: A brief history <ul><li>Enlightenment and rationalism swept in the front door of scholarship. “The Gospels were not considered to be the story of Jesus, but only stories about Jesus, written by people who had not known him and perhaps a hundred years after Jesus died. During that time many myths, legends, and heavily edited accounts had arisen and become part of the tradition. Hence, the real Jesus was buried in a mass of questionable material and had to be rediscovered.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Everything in the gospels had to be proven true on rationalistic scientific grounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Supernatural has to be ruled out…analogy principle. (virgin birth, resurrection, divine healings, casting out demons, and predictive prophecy.) </li></ul><ul><li>The early church then created someone that they could believe in, known as the extraordinary “Christ of Faith.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>D.F. Strauss The Life of Jesus Critically Examined </li></ul><ul><li>E. Renan Life of Jesus </li></ul><ul><li>Albert Schweitzer, The Quest for the Historical Jesus. (scholars had found themselves) </li></ul><ul><li>Bultmann said that nothing could be known about Jesus. “The only thing that matters is that Jesus was, not what Jesus was.” (famous for demythologizing) </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst Kasemann “The Question of the Historical Jesus” Set out on the NEW QUEST. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Old Quest: Began with the enlightenment in 1700s </li></ul><ul><li>New Quest: died out because nothing substantial was produced about Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Third Quest: No agreement on what is to be done, how to go about doing it, or what the results should be. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The options are: a political agent, a street-corner Greek preacher, a zealot, a magician, a moralistic prophet, a confused Galilean peasant, a Marxist-atheist, or an outright fraud. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where does this leave us: To study Christ without faith and by secular methods, we will only arrive at a confusing picture of ourselves. Because it is by our presuppositions that we guided into this “quest.” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. The search for Jesus’ real words. <ul><li>Since the actions of Jesus were called into question by the critical scholars, a new search began to find Jesus’ real words. </li></ul><ul><li>A problem arises with this attempt: How do we shift through the gospels to find what Jesus really said. (What does this assume?) </li></ul><ul><li>Twenty-five criteria have been espoused that will get the scholar to the true words of Jesus. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Jesus Seminar: sought to find out what Jesus really said. Only 18% of the words in the Gospels are actually his. The gospel of John cannot be trusted. <ul><li>Multiple attestation: </li></ul><ul><li>Palestinian Environment: </li></ul><ul><li>Aramaic Language: </li></ul><ul><li>Dissimilarity: </li></ul><ul><li>Embarrassment: </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus of Scholars: </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple forms of statement: </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Jesus of History and the Christ of faith are one and the same person. <ul><li>Elwell’s story of getting lost in the woods </li></ul>