Friday 23 March 2007

Journal of Theological Interpretation

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?
The articles in this inaugural issue begin to tackle such questions head-on. Richard B. Hays proposes that faith is the epistemological precondition for reading Scripture; Murray Rae explores the phenomenon of hermeneutical plurality; Michael Rynkiewich argues that the local church needs to develop its own specific contextual hermeneutic for the interpretation of Scripture; Christine Helmer proposes that the unity of the biblical canon is anticipatory, and that both unity and multivalence can be grasped together through Spirit-filled trust; R. W. L. Moberly defends the validity of reading the OT as Christian Scripture; and (in a particularly fascinating article) Brent Laytham discusses Jesus’ performance of the Scriptures in the Emmaus story (Luke 24) as a theological basis for eucharistic performance.

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.


Lyn said...

This project does look intriguing and engaging. I'll have to get a hold of a copy of the journal. Keep up the great work. I enjoy your reflections. Lyn from Thought Renewal (also from Bloggin' Outloud, but that one's on hiatus indefinitely :-)

Matt said...

Just ran across your blog and look forward to reading more. One link you may want to add for those who love to purchase books is

It pretty much makes the others obsolete. Take care

Anonymous said...

This is precisely the sort journal that I think we need right now. I think that the question of what the relationship of the Bible is to history and the event of revelation within history is precisely the thing that shapes ecumenical and extra-ecumenical debates.

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