Wilken on a Strictly Historical Hermeneutic

“In spite of it’s many accomplishments, a strictly historical approach to the Bible is incapable of receiving the Bible as Bible. It can offer various kinds of syntheses, such as a cultural history of the ancient Near East, a chapter in the religious history of the Greco-Roman world, to mention the most obvious, but it cannot give us the book of the Church, the Scriptures that have been read, the psalms that have been prayed, the holy men and women whose lives have been imitated, the teachings that have been expounded. To be sure, the Old Testament is a book that has its origin in the ancient Near East, but the book the Church reads also belongs to another time and other places.” – Robert Louis Wilken,¬†Allegory and the¬†Interpretation of the Old Testament in the 21st Century, Letter & Spirit vol 1.


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