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Hermeneutics And Natural Knowledge In The Reformers

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Chapter Summary

Any attempt to identify a distinctively Protestant approach to biblical hermeneutics in the early modern period is complicated by a number of factors. This chapter focuses primarily on the ideas of Martin Luther and John Calvin, and on their explicit statements about the theory of biblical interpretation (rather than their exegetical practices or their readings of particular passages of Scripture). If there is one widely known generalization about the approach of the Protestant reformers to hermeneutics, it is that they emphasized in an unprecedented way the literal sense of Scripture. In order to make the case that the Protestant Reformation made possible a major hermeneutical shift, more is required than the identification of specific ways in which Protestant exegesis differed from the interpretative practices of medieval Catholicism.

Keywords: biblical interpretation; Catholicism; early modern period; hermeneutics; John Calvin; Martin Luther; Protestant; reformers

10.1163/ej.9789004171916.i-782.74
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