Saturday, March 26, 2011

Patristic Exegesis: Reading Scripture in the Eucharistic Gathering by James G. Bushur

The July/October 2010 issue of Concordia Theological Quarterly has an excellent article entitled "Patristic Exegesis: Reading Scripture in the Eucharistic Gathering" by James Bushur. Bushur shows how the enlightenment has negatively influenced Biblical interpretation done by conservatives and liberals alike. Both the historical critic and the fundamentalist reject tradition. The historical-critical reader attempts to look behind the text to find the real meaning that was corrupted in one way or another by the church. The fundamentalist looks behind the tradition to find the real meaning in the text that was wrongly interpreted by the church. Bushur persuasively argues that both of these "scientific" methods are erroneous and a departure from Biblical interpretation as done by the early Christians. Bushur argues that the eucharistic gathering is the natural habitat of the Scriptures. Reading the Bible in the academy (whether as a fundamentalist or an historic critic) is like observing animals who are behind bars in a zoo. In the academy the Bible loses its teeth. In the eucharistic gathering the Scriptures retain their natural dangerousness.

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