History of Biblical Interpretation

Volume 3: Renaissance, Reformation, Humanism


Volume 3 of History of Biblical Interpretation deals with an era—Renaissance, Reformation, and humanism—characterized by major changes, such as the rediscovery of the writings of antiquity and the newly invented art of printing. These developments created the context for one of the most important periods in the history of biblical interpretation, one that combined both philological insights made possible by the now-accessible ancient texts with new theological impulses and movements. As representative of this period, this volume examines the lives and teaching of Johann Reuchlin, Erasmus, Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, John Calvin, Thomas Müntzer, Hugo Grotius, and a host of other influential exegetes.

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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).
Abbreviations Introduction 1. The Bible in Renaissance and Humanism 1.1. Finding the Way Back to the Hebrew Original: Giannozzo Manetti 1.2. Rediscovering the Original New Testament Text: Lorenzo Valla 1.3. Reading the Bible with Plato: Marsilio Ficino 1.4. Learning from Judaism: Johannes Reuchlin 1.5. Living with the Bible: Johannes Faber Stapulensis 1.6. Meeting Paul Again: John Colet 1.7. Following “the Philosophy of Christ”: Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam 2. The Bible in the Reformation 2.1. Becoming Justified by Faith: Martin Luther 2.2. Organizing Theology according to the Scripture: Philipp Melanchthon 2.3. Forming the Church according to the Bible: Huldrych Zwingli 2.4. Seeking Instruction in the Scripture: John Calvin 2.5. Extending God’s Kingdom by the Sword: Thomas Müntzer 2.6. Taking the Commandments of Jesus with Radical Seriousness: The Zurich Baptists 2.7. Finding the Meaning in the Inner Word, Not “the Letter”: Sebastian Franck 2.8. Ruling according to Old Testament Model:The Experiment in Münster 2.9. Moving Away from the Old Testament: Pilgram Marpeck 3. The Bible at the Time of the Counter-Reformation, Late Humanism, and Orthodoxy 3.1. Fighting Heretics with the Bible: Joannes Maldonatus 3.2. Attending to the Historical Background of the Scripture: Hugo Grotius 3.3. Defending the Bible as Inspired: Abraham Calov Concluding Word Selected Resources and Suggested Readings Index of Names and Places Index of Subjects Index of Biblical References