The biblical studies publisher, Eisenbrauns, has launched an exciting new journal: the Journal of Theological Interpretation.
The JTI is edited by Joel B. Green, and its task is to explore the question, “How might we engage interpretively with the Christian Scriptures so as to hear and attend to God’s voice?” The journal’s first issue is due to appear shortly, and I’ve been reading an advance copy – it really does look like an excellent and exciting new project.
In his editorial introduction, entitled “The (Re-)Turn to Theology,” Joel Green notes that theological interpretation of Scripture is concerned with the function of Scripture in the Christian church. “Theological interpretation emphasizes the potentially mutual influence of Scripture and doctrine in theological discourse and, then, the role of Scripture in the self-understanding of the church and in critical reflection on the church’s practices” (p. 2). And Green sets out the journal’s agenda in a series of challenging questions (p. 3):
- What is the status of the theological tradition, including the tradition of biblical interpretation, in theological interpretation today?
- What is the role of history and historical criticism in theological interpretation?
- What is the status and role of the OT in the two-testament canonical Scriptures?
- What is the place of exegesis in theological method?
- What is the nature of the “unity” of Scripture?
- What is the role of the canon in theological interpretation?
- Does theological interpretation extract theological claims or principles from the Bible?
At a time when more and more biblical specialists and theologians are seeking to make sense of the theological function of Scripture in the church, the JTI has an important niche, and it will no doubt be a welcome addition to the libraries of students and scholars from very diverse disciplines.