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Biblical Interpretation In The Light Of The Interpretation Of Nature, 1650–1900

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes how from the eighteenth to the dawn of the twentieth century biblical interpretation continued the loss of relevance for the interpretation of nature that had begun with the Copernican revolution. Efforts to make the history depicted in the Bible intelligible greatly attenuated if not eliminated Scripture?s relevance for understanding the history of Earth. This is attributed to fundamental changes in ideas of history and of revelation that shaped the answer to the question: what kind of history does the Bible contain? The chapter reviews these changes as they occurred in attempts to make the history of Earth, of the Bible, and of religion intelligible and it describes the standards of intelligibility applied. Offered from a perspective focused on the history of biblical interpretation, the chapter aims to provide general background for more detailed studies of the relationships between the interpretation of nature and Scripture during this period.

Keywords: biblical interpretation; history of earth; natural science; religion; religion intelligible; Scripture

10.1163/ej.9789004171923.i-618.17
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004171923.i-618.17
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