The Christian canon is not a fixed deposit of traditions from the past, but a dynamic vehicle by which the risen Lord continues through the Holy Spirit to guide, instruct, and nourish his people. The imperative “to search the Scriptures” reveals the need for its continuous interpretation. The activity of hearing, reading, and praying is required, indeed mandated by the Scripture itself. In every successive generation new light has been promised for those seeking divine illumination to provide fresh understanding, new application to changing cultures, and a call for repentance for persistent failure in living out the imperatives of the gospel. In this constant struggle to live a faithful Christian life, the Scriptures of the church afford the abiding context from which to grow into the image of Christ. It is thus a theological gyroscope for maintaining one’s direction when buffeted by the ever-shifting winds of change.guaranteed payday loans
Childs, Brevard S. The Church’s Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus (p. 26).
Archives For Canonical Approach
In his Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach, John Sailhamer addresses the literal sense (sensus literalis) of the text and proposes that the literal sense of Scripture may also function as the spiritual sense (sensus spiritualis).
As part of the overall proposal for an approach to OT theology offered in this book, we strongly urge the consideration of a return to the notion that the literal meaning of the OT may, in fact, be linked to the messianic hope of the pre-Christian, Israelite prophets. By paying careful attention to the compositional strategies of the biblical books themselves, we believe in them can be found many essential clues to the meaning intended by their authors—clues that point beyond their immediate historical referent to a future, messianic age. By looking at the works of the scriptural authors, rather than at the events that lie behind their accounts of them, we can find appropriate textual clues to the meaning of these biblical books. Those clues, we also suggest, point to an essentially messianic and eschatological focus of the biblical texts. In other words, the literal meaning of Scripture (sensus literalis) may, in fact, be the spiritual sense (sensus spiritualis) intended by the author, namely, the messianic sense picked up in the NT books. Such a view of the meaning of the OT is quite similar to that of the apostle Paul in Romans 16:25-27. There Paul speaks of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which, though hidden in ages past, “has now been revealed and made known through the prophetic writings.” Paul notes three things about the Gospel in these verses: (1) it was formerly a hidden “mystery” in “long ages past” (v. 25); (2) it has now been revealed (v. 26); and (3) it is “made known through the prophetic writings” (v. 26).
Sailhamer, John H. (2010-12-07). Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach (Kindle Locations 2679-2689). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
What must we know about the final editors or redactors of the Old Testament? Should we labor to undercover an agenda or psychological mindset present in the person(s) in order to understand why the final editors arranged and added to the received text in front of them? To what degree should we care about the final form of the Old Testament scriptures? Christopher Seitz writes on these issues in The Character of Christian Scripture: The Significance of a Two-Testament Bible.
The final editors do not have any moral superiority, and it is not for this reason that a canonical approach values the final form of the text.The final form of the text is a canonical-historical portrayal, and the final editors have never ceased hearing the Word of God as a word spoken through history. Their very nonappearance, moreover, is testimony to the degree to which they have sought to let the past have its own say and in the case of Isaiah, have deferred to God’s inspired Word as it presses ahead in all its accomplishing work. No morally superior, or balefully institutional, second or third Isaiahs get the final word. That would be far too Continue Reading…
For many students of the Bible, the Old Testament is often seen as an inspired historical record as much as, if not more than, an inspired revelatory narrative. One common objection to the canonical approach (popularized by Childs, Seitz, Sailhamer) is that the approach has no concern for the historical “facticity” of the Bible and the events found within the Biblical narrative. Christopher Seitz gives helpful commentary regarding the canonical approach’s view of historical realities within the text in his recently released book The Character of Christian Scripture: The Significance of a Two-Testament Bible. Seitz writes: Continue Reading…