Concordia Theological Monthly

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Document Type



historical method, interpretation, scientific method, exegetes, theological, critical method

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


The failure of exegetes to agree on hermeneutical principles is said to be one of the major causes for the divisions in Christendom, and, as Avey pointed out more than 25 years ago, American denominationalism will not disappear unless all bodies agree on basic principles of Biblical interpretation. Biblical scholars of the liberal tradition claim that the greatest obstacle to any agreement among exegetes lies in the continued use of the so-called dogmatic method inherited from the Reformers. Its advocates are charged that on the assumption that the Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant they employ the prooftext method in an arbitrary fashion. The net result is said to be that these exegetes view the Bible as a static and fixed body of religious and ethical truths. Modern Biblical scholarship prides itself on using the historical method, also known as the scientific or critical method.


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars