Canon fire

Since the publication of his Biblical Theology in Crisis in 1970, Brevard Childs (recently retired from Yale Divinity School) has pursued a single-minded interpretive agenda with passion and imagination: that the legitimate interpretation of the Bible is as the scripture of the church. Interpretation is to be done in the context of the faith of the church and in the service of its practice. In a variety of ways he has opposed the practice of “autonomous” interpretation outside the matrix of faith that is characteristic of the academic guild, which is preoccupied with historical questions, and which regards historical criticism as the goal and end of interpretation. From Childs’s perspective, the nature of the biblical material itself makes interpretation inescapably theological. It has as its subject the theological claims made in and through the text and received by the church.


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