Critique of Canaan Banana's call to rewrite the Bible

In: Religion and Theology
S.A. Reed3045 180th Street Winthrop IOWA 50682-9419 United States of America

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Canaan Banana is an African liberation theologian who was prominently involved in Zimbabwe's liberation struggle. He has written an article 'The Case for a New Bible' in which he argues that the Christian Bible should be rewritten so that it can be relevant for people in postcolonial societies. Banana is concerned that there are oppressive texts in the Bible that continue to be used by people to legitimise the oppression of others. He argues that these texts should be removed. Banana is also concerned that the Bible contains revelation which relates to only one people and that religious experiences of other peoples ought to be added to the Bible. Banana has raised important concerns about the Bible which must be addressed by scholars if the Bible is to be relevant in an appropriate way for postcolonial times. Banana boldly makes a proposal to rewrite the Bible to make it relevant and authoritative. Banana has highlighted some important problems that need new and creative solutions. The present article will discuss the problems related to the Bible as seen by Banana, discuss the solutions which Banana proposes for the problems and then critique his proposals. Insights from biblical studies related to hermeneutics, biblical theology and canon formation will be used to propose other solutions to these problems.

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