Barth on the Word and Scripture

ZA Blog on 6 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

Karl_Barth_1167312313122810For Barth, the Word of God (i.e., the event of God’s self-revelation) is always a new work, a free decision of God that cannot be bound to a creaturely form of mediation, including Scripture. This Word never belongs to history but is always an eternal event that confronts us in our contemporary existence.

‘If therefore we are serious about the fact that this miracle is an event,’ Barth writes, ‘we cannot regard the presence of God’s Word in the Bible as an attribute inhering once and for all in this book as such and what we see before us of books and chapters and verses’” – Michael Horton The Christian Faith

Barth is undeniably fascinating, but I’m never quite sure…

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Mythology and Meaning: How we read the Scriptures

ZA Blog on 7 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Normal_ss_chp08 “A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is.” – Flannery O’Conner


If the comments to yesterday’s post are anything to go by, mythology resonates quite strongly with many of us. 

And what is mythology really but a certain type of story?

A myth tells a story to explain why things are the way they are, to give us a glimpse into the nature of history, and life, and the struggle between good and evil. 

We know intuitively that a myth “means” as an entire story. What is the point of The IliadRead more

Wrestling with Parakeet Passages

ZA Blog on 7 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Blue parakeet Around the blogosphere there are a couple people are using Scot McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet as a springboard for wrestling with difficult section of the Bible.

Specifically, Patrick Mitchel asks if the silence passages are really the best place to go when examining the role of women in the church, and Boston Planter is facing the tough questions in the Exodus narrative.

For a review of The Blue Parakeet you can check out this article at Christianity Today.

I’ve recommended McKnight’s book to a number of people over the last year because, whether or not you agree with his conclusions, he makes you think and forces you to own up to…

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Wednesday Giveaway! – Is There a Meaning in This Text?

ZA Blog on 7 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Meaning in this text In the narrative of contemporary Biblical interpretation, few books have had the impact of Kevin Vanhoozer's Is There a Meaning in This Text?

Recently we commemorated that impact with the release of a special tenth anniversary edition of this seminal work in hermeneutics, and I'm excited to say that this anniversary edition is our giveaway this week!

Featuring a foreword by Craig Blomberg, Is There a Meaning in This Text? harnesses literary theory, authorial intent, postmodernism, and Trinity along with many other concepts to shape a "Hermeneutics of the Cross".

This giveaway will run through Thursday. To enter just post below listing the book, pastor, or…

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“The Power of Multisensory Preaching and Teaching”
is “Book of The Year” for Preaching Magazine

ZA Blog on 8 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Multisensory The March issue of Preaching Magazine announced The Power of Multisensory Preaching and Teaching, by Rick Blackwood, as the 2008 "Book of the Year."

This year our Preaching Book of the Year has been selected because it effectively and powerfully deals with an issue that is going to make a profound impact on preaching in the coming years. Because it has the potential to shape the conversation among pastors in meaningful ways…"

– Michael Duduit, Publisher, Preaching Magazine

Congratulations Rick, from the Zondervan Academic team!

Blackwoodr Rick Blackwood (DMin, Grace Theological Seminary; EdD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the senior pastor of…

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by Walter C. Kaiser

ZA Blog on 9 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Old topics have a way of recyling and coming back on themselves.  What goes around often comes around.


Hermeneutics When Moises Silva and I co-authored our Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning (now in a revised and expanded second edition, Zondervan, 2007), we carried on a gentle conversation between the two of us within the covers of one and the same book on the question (among others): to what degree is the meaning of Scriptural text (or any other text for that matter) solely dependant on the author's original meaning.  It has been a matter of some satisfaction to see the wide acceptance this volume continues to receive from so many readers who have appreciated our willingness to openly share our agreements and disagreements on this topic (and others).


But this whole topic has received new life once again– this time from a speech I heard Justice Clarence Thomas give over TV last week on this same question with regard to the Consitution of the United States. He argued for "originalism" and the "authorical intention" supplied by the framers of this document.  In Justice Thomas' question and answer time, which followed his speech, he was asked several questions which are almost exactly of the same kind that Biblical exegetes must face.  For example, he was asked how the Constitution, now almost 250 years old, could help us with modern questions that this ancient document never had to face?  Moreover, what was wrong with activistic judges creating laws precisely where these new situations arose?

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Hermeneutics and Children’s Curriculum — By John Walton

ZA Blog on 9 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Seminaries and grad programs that train pastors, and the academics who teach in those programs are very concerned about proper hermeneutics. We want pastors to have the very best training so that God’s word is handled properly and that preaching proceeds from the authoritative teaching of the text rather than from human cleverness or tangential ideas. This is as it should be since we seek to teach with the authority of God’s Word. My question is, why do we not show the same interest in assuring that children are taught with the same care?

It has been my practice over the years to work with the Children’s education program in my church to evaluate curriculum and train teachers for the pre-school through elementary grades. What I find in curricula is consistently shocking from a hermeneutical standpoint. I should hasten to say that curricula are often excellent from an educational standpoint—for that is the expertise of those producing curriculum. In the area of hermeneutics, however, the violations of sound method are frequent and obvious. I have identified five basic fallacies that appear repeatedly:

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