By James Barr
Concentrating on the outdated testomony and the background of Israel, this publication brings jointly points of controversy concerning the Bible on the finish of the millennium. writer James Barr examines the character of biblical narrative, asking even if the Bible expresses real old occasions or the ideological and non secular aspirations of writers in a lot later instances.
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Extra resources for History and Ideology in the Old Testament: Biblical Studies at the End of a Millennium
New Profile of Discussion 23 His [Frei's] reasonable claim that what biblical narratives 'are about and how they make sense' depend(s) on 'the rendering of the events constituting them* goes with a set of unacceptable corollaries. First, that this feature of signification distinguishes 'realistic' narrative; second, that it brings together realistic and historical narrative; and third, that this 'history-like quality' can be 'examined for the bearing it has in its own right on meaning and interpretation', without being confused 'with the quite different issue of whether or not the realistic narrative was historical* (pp.
In large measure his book was a historical approach, tracing how the interpretation of biblical narrative, starring from, the Reformation, had suffered from the growth of a historical method, which had eventually led to the eclipse of biblical narrative. In the Reformers the literal sense and the historical sense had been the same thing, but afterwards the two had been separated and the growing 7 (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1984); the reader is advised to use the 2nd cdn. (1996), which contains two additional chapters highly relevant for the matters to be discussed here.
We have seen, following Barton, over the last twenty-five years a 'steady reversal* of the influence of the analytic, historical-critical perceptions of the Bible and their increasing replacement by more synthetic and holistic approaches. But it would be a mistake to suppose that traditional historical criticism is passing away. Certainly there are more people who are questioning it and doubting it. But the opposite phenomenon is also part of the modern scene. Active, highly critical, and sometimes aggressive 2O New Profile of Discussion historical criticism is if anything more to be seen than was the case fifty or a hundred years ago, when most biblical criticism was actually rather mild and theologically rather conservative, though not everyone perceived that at the time.