walter brueggemann on a literal reading of the Bible

From Walter Brueggemann’s Theology of the Old Testament:

Israel’s testimony, however, is not to be understood as a claim subject to historical explication or to philosophical understanding. It is rather an utterance that proposes that this particular past be construed according to this utterance. For our large purposes we should note, moreover, that such testimonial utterance in Israel is characteristically quite concrete, and only on the basis of many such concrete evidence does Israel dare to generalize.

Brueggemann is here saying what any reader of the Old Testament should naturally see. The text is written in a straightforward manner. The testimony was meant to be taken at face value, not to be reinterpreted away. Furthermore, the generalizations about God are deduced from multiple specifics (e.g. we can say God is faithful because we see multiple instances of His faithfulness, and we can say God is powerful because He parted the Red Sea and saved Israel). This is in deep contrast to the Augustinian view of God: that contemplated characteristics should trump the Biblical text (e.g. if we see God using deceit that we use a “truthfulness” characteristic to try to reinterpret the text out of existence).

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Bible, Calvinism, God, Open Theism, Textual Criticism, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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