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A Genealogy for Reception History

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image of Biblical Interpretation

Reception history, as a subfield of Biblical Studies, is often defined as a new methodological paradigm, categorically distinct from both the reconstructive claims of his­torical-critical methodology and the engrained theological premises at the heart of traditional histories of biblical interpretation. There are fundamental differences between reception history as it is practiced today and traditional histories of inter­pretation, chief among them the priority granted to theology, history, text, and culture. Yet indiscriminate generalizations are rarely as edifying as specific historical textual illustrations. This article discusses several histories of interpretation, sixteenth century to the present, as case studies, focusing on their methods, assumptions, and metacritical thinking. The relationship between past and present methods is intricate and nuanced in these instances, far beyond the hackneyed “theology-history” distinction so prevalent today.

Affiliations: 1: Bridgewater College USA


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