Author Topic: Orthodoxy and Contemporary Biblical Scholarship  (Read 1489 times)

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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Orthodoxy and Contemporary Biblical Scholarship
« on: August 15, 2005, 10:23:58 AM »
I have for the past year or so, been undertaking certain subjects at university in which the Biblical text is approached from a purely academic perspective. As such I have had to engage with modern and contemporary Biblical scholarship in relation to issues such as source criticism (documentary hypotheses - JEPD and Q for example), textual criticism, and the historicity of certain Biblical events (dating of the Exile, the fall of Jericho etc). Although I feel fairly comfortable with it all, I would like to know whether there is an “Orthodox stance” on such issues. How liberal or conservative is Orthodoxy in relation to the various theories that have been popular in academic circles? If anyone has any articles or books they may refer me to which deal with such questions, It would be much appreciated.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2005, 10:34:45 AM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline StGeorge

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Re: Orthodoxy and Contemporary Biblical Scholarship
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 04:36:40 PM »
I was wondering the same thing.ÂÂ  

Is modern Biblical criticism, as it comes from the West and is based on certain philosophical schools of thought, even compatible with Orthodox ways of thinking?  ÃƒÆ’‚ :)

One thing that I keep in mind is that many of these so-called scholars aren't very wise, or they reject certain possibilities while embracing others, when there is no reason to do so.ÂÂ  For example, a few months ago I was in a Little Rock Scripture study with my local Catholic parish.ÂÂ  We used the Collegeville Biblical commentary.ÂÂ  I remember, when studying the letters of Paul, how the Benedictine commentator mentioned that such and such Pauline letters are now shown by modern Biblical scholarship not to have been written by Paul.ÂÂ  One major reason for this belief is that some Pauline letters begin more formally than others.ÂÂ  Another major reason is that the salutations of one epistle are near identical to the salutations of another epistle.ÂÂ  The conclusion: only some Pauline letters are really from Paul; the others are at best written by Christians of other Christian communities.ÂÂ  

As you might already be able to see, there is a kind of textual fundamentalism with modern Biblical criticism.ÂÂ  The fact that Paul wrote many of his letters years apart, the fact that Paul traveled across the Roman Empire and encountered many cultures, and the fact that Christians believe that the Pauline letters were written by the Holy Spirit (and so the works are not simply the works of Paul but are the works of God), seems to have no impact on how academic scholars understand these texts.ÂÂ  

Although I have not personally studied modern Biblical criticism and therefore cannot claim to be an expert on it, I often wonder if these scholars need more wisdom and self-awareness when critically studying Biblical texts.  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

« Last Edit: August 15, 2005, 04:55:42 PM by StGeorge »