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Theological Interpretation, Second Naiveté, and the Rediscovery of the Old Testament

R. W. L. Moberly

This essay is in four parts. The first briefly sketches some of the problems for Christian understanding and use of the Old Testament posed by contemporary ecclesial and academic culture. The second part considers some of the extensive conceptual resources that have become available in recent years through a revolution in hermeneutics; these make it possible to rethink the nature and purpose of the study of the Old Testament in terms of “theological interpretation,” which is still informed by the insights of modern historical-critical scholarship yet is simultaneously more engaged with the concerns of contemporary faith. The third part considers some other models for theological interpretation, especially the work of Walter Brueggemann and the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar led by Craig Bartholomew. The final part briefly considers the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, as an example of a text that can be validly read in more than one way.

 
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