Reading the Bible through the ages? : historical and hermeneutical perspectives

Smit, D. J. (2015)

CITATION: Smit, D. J. 2015. Reading the Bible through the ages? Historical and hermeneutical perspectives. Stellenbosch Theological Journal, 1(2):175–194, doi:10.17570/stj.2015.v1n2.a08.

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In this contribution the seemingly straightforward slogan espoused by Biblica, namely, “Transforming lives through God’s Word” is complicated by placing it within the context of the rich, multi-layered and complex history of Bible-reading. Fully aware that it is an impossible task to construe the history of the reading of the Bible, offers a few broad strokes describing Biblical reception and interpretation, beginning with the complex genesis of the Bible, extending through the Early Church, the Middle Ages, The Renaissance and Reformation, the time of Enlightenment and rise of Modernity, the emergence of ecumenical hermeneutics in the 20th century, and the contemporary conflicts in hermeneutic perspectives. Throughout the essay, the question is asked – in various ways and with different responses – what “Transforming lives through God’s Word” could mean.

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