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The Conversion of the Imagination (4) Read the text

The Conversion of the Imagination (4) Read the text

One of the most stimulating books I've picked up in recent months is Richard Hays, The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel's Scripture. It's a lightly-edited collection of essays and articles on Paul's approach to reading the OT in the light of Christ, and it's a real delight.

Some more reflections from the chapter entitled "A hermeneutic of trust".

"The real work of interpretation is to read the text. We must consider how to read and teach Scripture in a way that opens up its message, a way that both models and fosters trust in God. So much of the ideological critique that currently dominates the academy fails to achieve these ends. Scrpture is critiqued by never interpreted." (p. 198)

Personally, I think I'm at least as sceptical as Hays at this point, if not more so. It seems to me that many biblical critics (I use the word here in the unfashionable, negative sense) display considerably less familiarity with what the text of Scripture actually says than their bold and far-reaching denunciations of (for example) its immorality would require.

But even if the best of the biblical critics (negative sense intended, again) have at least read and engaged with the text of the Bible, it seems to me all but certain that the vast majority of their disciples have not. I'm struck by Hays' example of "Frank Lentricchia, who teaches English literature at Duke [University]", but who has "grown impatient with having his own critical perspective parroted by graduate students who have no love of literature ... indeed, who rarely read it at all because they are so enamoured of 'critical theory'" (pp. 198-199).

Trinity Sunday has passed...

... but the Triune God remains. And so here are a few more quotes from, and thoughts prompted by, Peter Leithart’s wonderful little book, Traces of the Trinity. The notes are very much at the scattered-and-fragmentary end of the spectrum, but hopefully they’ll still be useful here and there. Chapter 9, "I in Thee, Thou in Me" Nice summary so fa...

The Conversion of the Imagination (3) A hermeneutic of trust

One of the most stimulating books I've picked up in recent months is Richard Hays, The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel's Scripture. It's a lightly-edited collection of essays and articles on Paul's approach to reading the OT in the light of Christ, and it's a real delight. The chapter entitled "A hermeneutic of trust" contains (among other thi...

Bible-reading plan, week 21

Here are the readings for week 21 of the Bible-reading plan for Ministers and theological students. Reading: Ezek 31-48; Rev 3-12; Ps 119:33-88; Prov 20:4-18 Study: 1 Sam 2 (Enti...
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