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On Being ‘Lovers of Truth'

Hultgren, Stephen (2015) On Being ‘Lovers of Truth'. In: Rightly Handling the Word of Truth. ALPB Books, Delhi, NY, pp. 11-52. ISBN 1-892921-29-4

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The chapter deals with the question: What does it mean to “rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15), specifically, how does one rightly interpret and apply Scripture within the framework of a normative canon? An exegesis of 2 Tim 2:15 proposes that “rightly handling the word of truth” is in the first instance a matter of setting the gospel (in the strict sense) in a proper relationship to the whole of the prophetic and apostolic witness of Scripture, so that the gospel is not twisted. The chapter then explores what ‘rightly handling the word of truth’ has meant in subsequent theology. Irenaeus’s defense of the canon concept was concerned about rightly relating each part of Scripture to the whole, and especially of relating the gospel to the Scriptures of Israel. The Lutheran distinction of law and gospel is concerned about relating the gospel rightly to the law. The law-gospel distinction is biblical and important, although it cannot provide an exhaustive Lutheran hermeneutic. Lutherans have not been hesitant to engage in canon criticism for the sake of the gospel, but respect for Scripture as Word of God requires that one attend to the overall shape of the canon in adjudicating the relative weight of biblical texts. “Rightly handling the word of truth” entails avoiding both of two extremes: obscuring the gospel in the strict sense; and using the gospel as a pretext for deconstructing the prophetic and apostolic witness in its integrity.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: truth; law and gospel; 2 Timothy 2:15; canon of Scripture; Irenaeus
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
B - New Testament
College/Association with University of Divinity: ALC: Australian Lutheran College
Depositing User: Ms Rosslyn Darmody
Date Deposited: 30 May 2016 06:29
Last Modified: 30 May 2016 06:29
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1984

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