Marquette Scripture Project is kicking off the semester with an intriguing discussion series on Scripture and interpretation! We are 1.) exploring the history of Christian understandings of the nature of Scripture and the norms of Christian exegesis (especially focusing on what the authors of the New Testament themselves suggest), and 2.) examining what normative beliefs and interpretive practices should guide Christian understanding of and interpretation of Scripture today. Please see the schedule below, along with details for each session (suggested readings and questions to contemplate). Questions? Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suggested reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5, 2 Peter 1:16-21, and de Lubac’s “Forward” in Scripture in the Tradition (pp. vii-ix).
Questions for discussion: What is Christian Scripture? What kinds of questions/topics would a Christian theology of Scripture need to address? What are the “constants in Christian exegesis”?
Suggested reading: Hebrews 1:1-4; Colossians 2:1-19, and de Lubac’s Scripture in the Tradition pp. 100-112.
Questions for discussion: What is distinctively Christian about the Christian belief in divine revelation? What is its content? (And is this previous question even a legitimate one). How are revelation and Scripture related? How do Protestants and Catholics differ in their answers to these questions?
Suggested Reading: Ephesians 2:11-3:20; 1 Peter 2:1-17, de Lubac’s Scripture in the Tradition pp. 113-129.
Questions: How is(are) the Church(es) related to Israel in the Scriptures? What role does(do) the Church(es) play in the interpretation and dissemination of Scripture? What role should the Church(es) play in the interpretation of Scripture?
Suggested reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:1-13; Matthew 5:17-48 (see also Romans 9-11), de Lubac’s Scripture in the Tradition pp. 173-182.
Questions for discussion: How are the Old and New Testaments related to one another? Is Christianity inherently supercessionistic?
Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 24:13-35; Acts 8:26-40, de Lubac’s Scripture in the Tradition pp. 24-31.
Questions: Given that the human authors of Scripture do not abide by the canons of modern or post-modern historiography, in what sense is what they write historical? What functions and goals do modern historical approaches to the Bible have? What role do the aforementioned approaches play in Christian faith and life? Can historical investigation overturn doctrinal beliefs of Christian communities? Should it be allowed to do so?
Suggested Reading: John 5:30-46; Galatians 4:21-31; Corinthians 10:1-13, de Lubac’s Scripture in the Tradition pp. 11-24.
Questions: From whence did allegory come? Is there a difference between Christian allegorical interpretation and other forms of premodern allegorical/symbolic interpretation (Jewish, “pagan”, etc.)? Is allegorical exegesis still permissible/viable/useful? If so, what is its appropriate context?