Biblical Truths: The Meaning of Scripture in the Twenty-first Century
by Dale B. Martin 2017
About the Author
Dale B. Martin is Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His numerous books include New Testament History and Literature.
About the Book
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.
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“The book is gracefully written and eminently “readable,” containing many a pithy observation that plunges us deeper into its subject. . . . This is indeed a book filled with riches old and new . . . a work to return to and to stay with, again and again.”—Linda M. Maloney, Catholic Biblical Quarterly
“Written in Martin’s customary fresh and lucid style, this book is a mature and considered theology from an academic who has been immersed over a career studying the New Testament. A landmark in contemporary theology.”—Graham Ward, University of Oxford