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The Bible in Time

O'Brien, Mark (2008) The Bible in Time. Compass Theological Review, 42 (2). pp. 8-13. ISSN 0819-4602

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THE RECENT SYNOD of Bishops on the Bible continues a longstanding practice in which the church periodically reflects on its study and proclamation of the Bible in a prayerful yet critical way. As part of its agenda, this Synod reflected on past and current ways of reading the Bible with a view to preparing for the future. It may therefore be of use to readers to cast an eye over some of the major moments in the Church's study and use of the Bible during the past two thousand years.

At the risk of being simplistic, I will focus on three major moments. There is the 'early church' period characterised by the development of the allegorical or typological way of reading the Bible; this continued into the medieval period. There is the subsequent rise of critical historical reading in the wake of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation; and there is the more recent turn from a historical focus (how the Bible was produced) to studying the various books of the Bible as works of literature.

Earlier ways of reading the Bible should not be dismissed as primitive or passé. They are in their own way as sophisticated and subtle as anything taking place today and their influence continues to be felt. The fact that a new way of reading the Bible arises in reaction to an established one is as much a tribute to its impact as a sign of its limitations.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: Biblical studies, hermeneutics, biblical interpretation, church history
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: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: YTU: Yarra Theological Union
Depositing User: Users 2 not found.
Date Deposited: 31 May 2010 03:25
Last Modified: 31 May 2010 03:25
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/463

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