A leading biblical scholar’s landmark work challenges the historical realism that has dominated the discipline for more than two centuries
How can a modern person, informed by science and history, continue to recite the traditional creeds and confessions of the Christian church? What does the Bible mean and how do we verify biblical truths? In this groundbreaking book, a leading biblical scholar urges readers to be more creative interpreters of biblical texts, mapping out an alternative way of reading that is not first and foremost about understanding what those texts would have meant for the original authors and readers.
Limiting our study to the ancient meaning of the text, he argues, has produced either bad history, or bad theology, or both. One cannot derive robustly orthodox Christian doctrine or theology from a mere “historical” interpretation of the Bible. Martin offers instead theological readings of the New Testament that are faithful to Christian orthodoxy as generally understood, but without attempting a “foundationalist” understanding of the meaning of the text. His provocative and ambitious book demonstrates how theology and scripture can remain vital in the twenty-first century.