OT112 is my intro to the old testament class. it is quickly becoming a favorite. i really enjoy my theology class but this one is just awesome! it's amazing what a huge load of impressions and biases we bring when we read the hebrew bible.
Val asks me every Sunday "what was the fav. thing you learned this week?!" and then listens to me babble (much like you are reading this babble dear reader). either by loving and wonderful sister is really interested or she's really good a faking but i don't really care because it's a nice question and it shows that she supports me and is at least interested.. or has the courtesy to fake interest ;-)
so here's my favorite brain candy from last week! i learned about the three eras of biblical interpretation/philosophical thought.
before we start some would claim that the bible is a self-interpreting book. if that was so we'd have no ministers nor seminaries nor commentaries or arguments about the bible. the bible always had to be intrepreted. here's how:
1.)Pre-Modern Thought cira 100 c.e.
scriptures have multiple levels of meaning and there's no one way to do it but the bottom line is that all scripture is good to and supports the church.
Famous Dudes: Augustine, Origen
2.) The Enlightenment Modernism peak at 1600-1700s c.e.
bible is a rational book. Spinoza summed it up best with "Things happened in natural laws. what is contrary to nature is contray to reason. anything contrary was added by irreligious hands." adds the natural and social sciences into the study of the bible. period where the historical/literary criticisms develop. this periods thought belives TRUTH is an independent entity, just see the famous literature written at this time... the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
"The modern mind assumes that knowledge is certain, objective, and good. in principle, knowledge is accessible to the human mind" -Stanley Grenz
3.) Post-Modern 1940s-present
"Morning after Modern" people are no longer convinced that knowledge is inherently good and the universe is not mechanistic. reality is realitive, indeterminate, and participatory. Quantum Physics= everything is realitive.
so this was pretty cool way of looking at how the bible has been thought of and how humanity has come along in it's thinking. this also leads into the very nature of the Bible... is it a codebook (i.e. literal) or casebook (i.e. open ended). there is an article i read that argues that it's a casebook. a codebook requires precision, example from construction: one build-to-code, exact no straying from it. a casebook requires reflection and application. i take this stance as a casebook can take a series of examples and reflect a variety of responses under varied circumstances. it is this open-ended application that makes the bible such a holy book and such a long lasting tool for people.
this also leads to the very nature of the bible.. is it a history or collection of stories to help an exiled people define their identity? more on this later!