Bible Review 20:6, December 2004

Bible Books

At the beginning of the 21st century, precisely when the limitations of the historical-critical approach to the Bible have become clear to nearly everyone, there has simultaneously arisen the corresponding realization that the examination of the world that produced the Bible is not nearly so satisfying or important as appreciating the world that the Bible produced. Ph.D. programs in biblical studies suddenly find the history of interpretation an important topic, not simply as a way of studying the esoteric lore of scholarship, but as a way of understanding the reception and effect of the biblical texts—receptionsgeschichte and wirkungsgeschichte for those who need a German designation for full legitimation. Even more important, we are starting to grasp that the uses of the Bible in the liturgy and other practices of the church are far more impressive examples of reception and influence than the lucubrations of commentators. And, finally, we are beginning to see the analysis of music and art as serious modes of biblical interpretation.1

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