Back to Top
Our Stores Contact Us Help
Welcome, {{username}} Log Out Log In   /  Sign Up

The Nature of Biblical Criticism

John Barton

The Nature of Biblical Criticism

John Barton

$42.99

Paperback

Biblical criticism faces increasing hostility on two fronts: from biblical conservatives, who claim it is inherently positivistic and religiously skeptical, and from postmodernists, who see it as driven by the falsities of objectivity and neutrality. In this magisterial overview of the key factors and developments in biblical studies, John Barton demonstrates that these evaluations of biblical criticism fail to do justice to the work that has been done by critical scholars over many generations. Traditional biblical criticism has had as its central concern a semantic interest: a desire to establish the "plain sense" of the biblical text, which in itself requires sensitivity to many literary aspects of texts. Therefore, he argues, biblical criticism already includes many of the methodological approaches now being recommended as alternatives to it and, further, the agenda of biblical studies is far less fragmented than often thought.



- Publisher

You May Also Be Interested In

About "The Nature of Biblical Criticism"

Biblical criticism faces increasing hostility on two fronts: from biblical conservatives, who claim it is inherently positivistic and religiously skeptical, and from postmodernists, who see it as driven by the falsities of objectivity and neutrality. In this magisterial overview of the key factors and developments in biblical studies, John Barton demonstrates that these evaluations of biblical criticism fail to do justice to the work that has been done by critical scholars over many generations. Traditional biblical criticism has had as its central concern a semantic interest: a desire to establish the "plain sense" of the biblical text, which in itself requires sensitivity to many literary aspects of texts. Therefore, he argues, biblical criticism already includes many of the methodological approaches now being recommended as alternatives to it and, further, the agenda of biblical studies is far less fragmented than often thought.


- Publisher

Meet the Author

John Barton

John Barton is Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford. His previous publications include What is the Bible?, People of the Book, Love Unknown, The Oxford Bible Commentary and The Biblical World.

Customer Reviews For "The Nature of Biblical Criticism"

Write Your Own Review
The challenge and opportunity of criticism
5 stars By Robert, Aug 02 2012
I could not put this book down, because Barton analyses how 'confessing' approaches demand that we draw from the text what we want it to say. This betrays a lack of faith. Barton argues that critical scholarship has always been seeking out the 'plain meaning' of the text, and this desire is what resulted in documentary hypotheses. Such approaches grew out of a recognition that the Bible is a collective work. Barton's defence of this thesis is second to none. To anyone who has training in biblical analysis, this book is a revelation.

Two observations at the end floored me. First, Barton writes that "far from biblical criticism's having subverted faith, it seems to me that for most people it has not even begun to make an impression" (p 185). By keeping critical scholarship away from pastoral activity, we are stunting our appreciation of the Bible.

Second, Barton says that if " the findings of critical scholarship are of no value in communicating the Christian gospel to ordinary people... this is because hardly anyone has ever tried" (page 190). What a great point. The church is so faithless in trusting that 'taking the Bible at its word' will be fruitful that it has cut itself off from the benefits of scholarly biblical analysis.

This book is a tremendous challenge to the current impasse and debate. The challenge is indeed between faithful and faithless appropriations of the Bible, but the divide is the inverse of what is generally assumed.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes or No
{{review.title}}
{{review.rating}} stars By {{review.author.name}}, {{review.reviewCreatedDate | date:'MMM dd yyyy'}}

{{reviewdescription}}

{{review.text}}
{{review.helpfulCount}} of {{review.helpfulCount + review.unhelpfulCount}} people found this review helpful.  Did you find this review helpful? Yes or No

Available

0 Available. Expected to ship in 1 week from Australia.
Quantity

Add to Wishlist

Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 266966
  • Product Code 9780664225872
  • ISBN 066422587X
  • EAN 9780664225872
  • Pages 216
  • Department Academic
  • Category Scripture
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication Date Jun 2007
  • Sales Rank #47356
  • Dimensions 165 x 225 x 14 mm
  • Weight 0.336kg

Bestsellers in Scripture