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Showing posts from January, 2011

The Importance of Historical Context in Exegesis

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I am teaching Isaiah in the NT this semester and one of the books we are reading for the course is Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology). In the third major essay, Peter Enns makes some comments on studying the Bible's historical context.

He states (p. 170-171): "My reason for fronting the issue of the NT hermeneutical context is not an attempt to place historical study 'over' Scripture somehow. Rather, I simply wish to acknowledge that God himself, in Scripture, has spoken in time and space, and we honor him by taking seriously those contexts in which he, by his wisdom, has chosen to speak. To engage in such historical investigation is not to suggest that God's Word is somehow a slave to historical circumstances, but it is a reminder that the Bible is not a heavenly treatise, hurled down to earth from an Olympian height, or a Platonic ideal kept at a safe distance from the human drama. Rather, God is the Lor…

The Seriousness of Symbols

I just ran across this article in today's Scotsman. Apparently a pantomine in Glasgow was told by the British Red Cross that the production had broken the Geneva Convention. In this rendition of Robin Hood, the costume for a nurse character had a red cross on it. Harmless, one would think, but that is not the case according to the British Red Cross. The theatre was sent a letter informing them that they had broken the Geneva Convention on the use of the red cross and that they could face legal action. Included with the letter was "a three-page document from an extract from the Geneva Convention and it also contained a booklet that said it was a criminal offence" to use the red cross symbol in such a way.

I agree with the general manager of the theatre that it was "a wee bit heavy-handed", but what interests me are the statements by the British Red Cross. In their opinion, any use of a red cross other than by the wounded or those helping the wounded in a confli…