Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

James Voelz

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Romans 10:14-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5; 1 Corinthians 14:11; 2 Corinthians 10:1-11:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 11:34; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 11:4; Luke 1:4; Luke 21:24; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 19:15;


Redaction criticism and its modern successors in the literary field, while they give more credit to the text and the author, have at the same time mired the academy again into a modern mud of sources and manipulation. There is promise in certain new paths—rhetoric, reader-response, speech-act theory, methods which we will note briefly in the first chapter. But finally we must move out of the "academy" and into the church. For the orality of Scripture is not just about its origin but also about its use and purpose. The Scriptures are a liturgical piece. They belong not on the desk but in the lectern. They were written to be proclaimed. Thus, in a sense, this is a "canonical" study—yet undertaken with more ecclesiastical seriousness than that fledgling field commonly musters.

The Bible is a church book. St. Paul proclaims that it is "useful" for many pastoral ends, all of which are taken up by "the man of God" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Such considerations raise many questions. How were the Scriptures produced, published, disseminated, used? If they were spoken into script in order that the voice might again speak them into the ear, how might this recognition affect our method of interpretation? Do they indeed mean or function differently when they are heard? Might there soon be a method known as "oral criticism"? Or would it be preposterously self-contradictory to turn the results of oral research into another method to be wielded in the scholar's silent study? What impact will these results have on the valuation of the Scriptures and their reading in the liturgy? What is the purpose of this reading in an age when everyone can read the Scriptures at home? How does the living voice of the Scriptures relate to the institution and mandate of the Office of the Holy Ministry? These persistent questions, we believe, give urgency to the present study.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.