History of Biblical Interpretation

Volume 4: From the Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century


As in the first three volumes of History of Biblical Interpretation, From the Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century surveys the lives and works of significant theologians and lay people, politicians and philosophers, in order to portray the characteristic attitudes of the era. It discusses the philosophers and politicians Hobbes, Locke, and Spinoza and the writers Lessing and Herder. Biblical criticism per se begins with the controversy over the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament and extends into Enlightenment ethics, myth, and miracle stories. Early representatives include Richard Simon and Hermann Samuel Reimarus, followed by Johann Salomo Semler, Johann Jakob Griesbach, Johann Gottfried Eichhorn, and Philipp Jacob Spener. Biblical scholars such as Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette, Ferdinand Christian Baur, Heinrich Julius Holtzmann, Julius Wellhausen, Hermann Gunkel, Wilhelm Bousset, Karl Barth, and Rudolf Bultmann round out the volume and bring readers to the twentieth century.
Biographical Note
The late Henning Graf Reventlow was Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Exegesis and Theology, Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of the Ruhr, Bochum, Germany. He was the author or editor of numerous volumes, including The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modern World (Fortress); Problems of Old Testament Theology in the Twentieth Century (Fortress); and Creative Biblical Exegesis: Christian and Jewish Hermeneutics through the Centuries (JSOT Press).
Table of contents
Abbreviations Introduction 1. Lutheran Hermeneutics in Germany 1.1. The Reformation’s Understanding of the Bible Methodologically Established: Matthias Flacius Illyricus 1.2. Defending the Bible as the Word of God: Johann Gerhard 2. The Bible in England from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries 2.1. Ordering the Church according to a Biblical Pattern: Thomas Cartwright 2.2. Instituting the “Mortal God” as the Lord of Refuge: Thomas Hobbes 2.3. Creating Ethical Commandments from the New Testament: John Locke 2.4. Discovering Only What Is Reasonable in the Bible: John Toland 3. The Battle for the Text of the Bible 3.1. Arguing about Vowel Signs and Accents: Elias Levita, Louis Cappel, and the Buxtorfs 3.2. Recovering the Text of the New Testament: John Mill, Johann Albrecht Bengel, Jakob Wettstein 4. France and the Netherlands in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 4.1. Applying Historical-Philological Criticism to the Bible: Richard Simon 4.2. Distinguishing Reason from Revelation: Baruch de Spinoza 4.3. Defending Christian Truth with Biblical Prophecy: Pierre-Daniel Huet (Huetius) 5. The Bible in Pietism and the German Enlightenment 5.1. 5.1. Bringing the Word of God More Amply among Us: Philipp Jacob Spener 5.2. Combining Philological-Historical and Constructive Interpretation of the Bible: August Hermann Francke 5.3. Battling against the “Bible Idol”: Johann Christian Edelmann 5.4. Instituting Rational Religion as Judge: Hermann Samuel Reimarus 5.5. Supporting the Spirit against the Letter: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing 5.6. Understanding the Biblical Writings from their Period: Johann Salomo Semler 5.7. Understanding the Bible as a Human Document: Johann Gottfried Herder 5.8. Improving the New Testament Text and Setting Forth the Synoptic Question: Johann Jakob Griesbach 5.9. Explaining Miracles as Natural Events: Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus 5.10. Explaining Biblical Myth as a “Childlike” Manner of Speech: Johann Gottfried Eichhorn and Johann Philipp Gabler 6. Biblical Studies as a Science in the Nineteenth Century 6.1. Combining Reason, Aesthetics, Faith, and Historical Criticism: Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette 6.2. Characterizing the Gospels as Myths: David Friedrich Strauss 6.3. Setting Forth a Biblical Theology in the Wake of Hegel and de Wette: Wilhelm Vatke 6.4. An Idealistic Perspective Investigating the New Testament by Historical Criticism and Understanding It as a Historical Method: Ferdinand Christian Baur 6.5. Liberating the Old Testament from Rationalism: Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg 6.6. Directing Historical-Biblical Criticism according to the Results of Positivism: Heinrich Ewald 6.7. Detecting the Sources of the Gospels through Historical-Critical Analysis: Heinrich Julius Holtzmann 6.8. Redetermining the Course of the History of Israel: Julius Wellhausen 6.9. Searching for the Original Prophecy: Bernhard Duhm 7. The History of Religion School 7.1. Ascertaining the History of Israelite Religion and Sketching an Old Testament History of Literature: Hermann Gunkel 7.2. Placing Primitive Christianity into the History of Religion: Wilhelm Bousset 7.3. Interpreting Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God as the Announcement of the End Time: Johannes Weiss 8. New Directions in the Twentieth Century 8.1. Letting God Be God in His Revelation in the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus the Christ: Karl Barth 8.2. Interpreting the Message of the New Testament Existentially: Rudolf Bultmann 8.3. Outlook Selected Resources and Readings Index of Names and Places Index of Subjects Index of Biblical References
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