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4. History of Methods in Biblical Study

Ed Zinke

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Ed Zinke

Adventist theologian and businessman

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Conference

Recorded

  • February 7, 2018
    11:45 AM
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So this next section is going to be the last theoretical section and I'm going to get in the biblical materials biblical world view. Reason I want to go through this is because it describes the way the Bible has been studied up until about twenty years ago for a period of. Up to two hundred years and that method of studying the Bible has infiltrated the soul of our church right when I get there all describe a couple papers. That have been written by something other than this the logins. Let me pause for just a minute I didn't do this at the beginning my song David sinky that a lot of the illustrating and then Carol Raney the southern opens University came along. And I'm hands. Modified in and added some or power points and then my song Doug is trying to. The energy that I need to do this when he was a little boy he would sit on the front row and he would make sure that my illustrations at the right time actually got them to time but. Those folks have been sitting there just waiting to bring this illustration So anyway I mean everything I showed in my my family and the reason I'm willing to do something like this rather than sitting in Florida with my toes in the sand is I want my kids to my grandkids to grow up in a church accepts the Bible is the door to the Word of God the foundation for its teaching and thinking and acting and so on and so my my Perl is you know that this will be a little bit of an impetus I know that you folks already come from that background and I appreciate Well that of an impetus to do even more clearly you Scripture is the foundation for your teaching so we're going to deal with historical critical method historical critical method remember we search with with Origin a method. That came out of Platonism and with Aristotle we had a method that king. I mean with Thomas Aquinas we other method well with Aristotle a method that came out of arrows to tell in his image was then used by Thomas Aquinas to his study of scripture OK now we have a new philosophical system we saw that there is a new concept of God they in some other way we are absent from. The Islam and now we have a new method that coincides with a new philosophical systems and that method is called the historical critical method. So within that method are a number of sup methods and we'll only deal with a few of them have a dictionary of historical criticism that's not like that and I suspect if one were written today it would be twice that. There's. Criticism for listening criticism for that it's amazing how many different critical of the so it accepts the norms of historical science as a means for studying scripture so instead of reformers they study scripture. The BIBLE ALONE OK so the Bible was the context and the Bible provided the method are interpreted in itself OK so here the norms of contemporary historical science are the basis for studying scripture it's a new metaphysic a new way to understand the world. So the old from the metaphysics what is rational Israel movement of which is within the common law of history can be accepted as real. So historical critical method the norms of historical science are employed to determine the nature of the Bible and to test all of its truth claims so if the Bible says something happened well I'm going to go I'm going to check history and history will tell me whether that's true or not the method presupposes that the Bible is not the inspired word of God remember or did we what they really say we were going to presuppose that the Bible is the inspired word of God presupposes that the Bible is not the inspired word of God. And if the Bible is the Word of God that will be determined by the method of self is going to be determined by the Holy Spirit or anything like that as can be determined by the method itself so contrary to the claims of the Bible in general historical critical method in this attorney methods presuppose that the Bible is not the inspired word of God and assume that the Bible came by the will of men rather than by the will of God and such the Bible must be studied by the same methods as are applied to any other piece of luggage or so when you're reading the Bible you know think of Homer and the. Think of Shakespeare think of this poet in this story and so on and so forth but don't think that the Holy Spirit is behind what you're reading because you're thinking falsely if you're thinking that if it is from the standpoint of historical critical method OK As such the Bible must be studied by the same methods or is applied to any other piece of literature so it was not the inspired word of God when you're going to study it like you would in the other piece of which are so rough it was popularized at the end of the one thousand nine hundred by troll watch I started with the principle of criticism. But his criticism me OK So judgement about something OK so you can have this not necessarily negative view you can have a concert and you can have a music critic. Is quite complimentary. Of your performance OK but who's in charge here are the critics isn't charged so it means that human reason there's a determine or of truth of what actually took place so that's what criticism means analogy ops Hey analogy anything that happened in the past has to have an analogy in the present otherwise we know it didn't happen. So that if you've been into a cemetery in the last five years or so if you just see a resurrection while you are there you don't need the jury about one of the Washington Post or The New York Times OK Well there wasn't a resurrection two thousand years ago either see how that works the president determines the truth of any year been recorded in the past the next one is correlation and that is that everything is cause and effect you know kind of like this car caused this accident cause this accident caused this accident caused this accident so you start here and you work back until you finally get back to this this car started the whole chain of events OK so everything is connected by cause and effect so you have this cause that produces an effect which produces a cause which produces in fact. Nothing breaks the chain of cause and effect. Nothing breaks that chain of cause and effect what do you do with God. He can't do anything he can't come and perform a miracle because that's not cause and effect you're breaking the chain of cause and effect OK So those three principles. Are the basic principles of historical critical method now there's I mentioned there were a bunch of sub methods that came under the historical critical method. Source criticism this is well how's and the end of the hundreds came along and said. The Pentateuch is not was not written by Moses. Act One of my wife's professors when they said. Moses and God and Sinai never cross paths. And the ten commandments came from the tight treaty and my wife said OK so a cup this part out well so I cut out and he's suppose for a moment sort of well I don't really know one of two weeks later we found out he was playing around with his secretary and so he had to leave it didn't matter what he was doing to the minds of the kids it was OK to say that the Ten Commandments never met and it wasn't OK to be engaged in that kind of committee so anyway OK So G.D.P.. Pointed to the first five books of the Old Testament were not written by Moses. Over a period of a long long period of time. There was a group of scholars or maybe one scholar maybe a tradition or you know we don't know for sure what Anyway they wrote documents Jay and that contained a little bit of the story of. Creation and pulled out of the story of the flaws and so on and so forth and Hundred Years later another group of scholars came along and they wrote documents. And a hundred years later another group of scholars the another group of scholars be a hundred years later and at the time of the exile somebody pulled all of these manuscripts together. So it's like Suppose you're writing a story about the General Conference and you go back and you take an article from the eight hundred fifty S. and you find an article in The Washington Post and one of the New York Times and so on and so forth and you cut those articles out and you take a piece of tape new tape them all together and then you have a new document so when you're reading Genesis that's what you're reading you know the first part of the creation story was written by one group of people the next part was written by another group hundred years later and by the way you probably haven't noticed but there's lots of disagreements between Genesis one and Genesis two and so therefore it's clear that he's not telling us about creation so I'm not talking from my own position. But so so Genesis was written by these many different people over a long period of time so source criticism priest assumes that the production of Scripture was conditioned historically not by the fact that it had combined documents with a prior history of its own but also that wider movements in human life had to influence their contents so of Genesis all being written today in fact that were part of this community we would be having a hand in the writing of Genesis OK will form criticism came along Herman Gangle early one thousand nine hundred. And he said you guys and source criticism of done a good job but you have failed to recognize something and that is that the Perak appeal a small piece of literature itself has a history of transmission. So it was created within a particular environment I should have said History transmission that's the next one so it's get was created within a particular environment so the reason this piece of literature exists has its religious setting a second amik setting that psychological setting sociological political exciter exciter and that's what created the piece of literature so for criticism presupposes that however and working we all is Royce over many centuries contributed to the making of the Bible that it was simply a result of their having had a communal existence as Israelites So your tribe sat down around the fireplace and talked about trees and snakes and trees the talking donkeys the tall and so on and so forth and these traditions were passed on finely they were written up in this brick A-P. tradition criticism came along and said you guys and Foreman source informed criticism of done a good job but this prick up a this small piece unit of literature itself has a history of transmission so here there are there are tribes here tribe here tribe here try to hear the arrows represent the life setting all living within their life setting this tribe merged and when they did merged their traditions merged Same here and these tribes merged and all their traditions merged and so now this is the unit of literature that finally made it into the Bible so when you're preaching I'm quoting now and then a scholar when you're preaching you want to know what the history historical background is right you know how can you say to understand the text if you don't understand the historical background OK so what you have to do is you have to take this text and you split it out into all of its components you conjecture the life setting that created the text and then the life studying that created the unification of that text into this unit which are here by the way form criticism. I wrote two hundred page paper when I was at Catholic University in for criticism and had my own critique of the end which was not fortune same as the critique that I had on history of theology and my professor Fortunately after I got my past past my professor on the sidewalk one day and so then I need to talk to you about your naive conception the scripture mine mine a conception of scripture. So. We. Set up a time and like I say I was very bashful but I thought this one through this is one time you take the initiative so we sat down and I said Well Professor Suppose you look at the Bible this way that God revealed himself to the prophet under the power of the Holy Spirit the prophet in his own language into his own culture but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit conveyed the message that in such a way that God's word got through. And when I said that he's set up in his chair this guy was a relaxed guy sat up in his chair all excited he said that's it that's exactly it I said What do you mean that said he said that's exactly the way Scripture sees itself that sees itself as a unique he said what a church. We're together on one thing. So my next question well why do you use the historical critical method. For the next question was can you if that's what scripture is can you use a stark and critical method and he said no the historical critical method was not designed to study the kind of literature that the Bible claims to be so in the nature of the literature is going to determine the hermeneutic that you're going to use it's not designed to study that kind of literature and then my question well then why do you use the historical critical math and he said oh yeah you can't use a. Culture that's over two thousand years old and accept what they say about themselves you have to determine that on modern principles and then he went on to describe how wonderful religions coming this is happening this is happening you know eastern religions are coming and so on and so forth and how wonderful religion is going to be in the future so well I think we should be just as honest he said one foot in historical criticism the other one is not in scripture I think we should say we're going to keep both feet in Scripture. But if we're going to use these methods we should be honest with our constituents and say we're using methods that are really in scripture so this one let me give you an illustration I say that this is acts of Jesus and I say eleven and I say eleven is a messianic passage. Papers starts out prophecy does not forsee the future it only speaks to the present. How did the idea of the sorrow rise in Israel Well there are some good kings and queens and began to write about the good things and resume good priests and some bad priests beyond writing about the good priests breeze same of the prophets good priests prophets bad prophets someplace in the history of Israel we don't know when I'm quoting We don't know when these three traditions came together priest prophet and King Messiah now the genius of Isaiah No the inspiration of vice is. Turkey this is talking about the inspiration of Isaiah not meaning from the Holy Spirit and His own insight OK the inspiration of Isaiah was that. You know they've been waiting the next king would be the Messiah and generation after generation the next king was not the Messiah so his inspiration was that the Messiah would not be the next going it would be an Escada logical King not of man's making that of God's making and so as a church we have this wonderful message to the deliver to the world that there will be an eschatological Messiah nothing about Jesus Christ. Nothing about a literal visible second coming of anything like that just that there will be a messiah and that's the message we have to give to the world OK So reaction criticism came along and said you guys in the first three traditions you've done a great job but you fail to recognize that the file person putting all of this together. Was himself operating within a specific life setting so here you have this color or we can think that this is as a group. Of people rather than just one individual but anyway he's got the written documents he's got the oral traditions that have been passed down and what the in his own setting psychological sociological political religious economic he's bringing these documents together so as to tell his story so. If you read something in the book of Matthew this morning you probably thought you were reading Matthew where your You're reading the math community because what happened was the traditions from Jesus were passed on generation after generation and every time the church got a crisis they would go back to the traditions to see if there was something in their tradition that would help them solve the problem and if they couldn't find something in the tradition that would help them solve the problem then they would see well maybe there is a tradition we can modify to solve the problem and if they couldn't find one that they could modify to solve the problem and one created a new tradition that will solve the problem so when you're reading Matthew you're reading the history of what happened in the in the math in community. Until it was finally written down what the self road you know it might be to that's in there from Matthew. And certain traditions from OK let's see what Alan Weiss as the warnings of the Word of God regarding the peril surrounding the Christian church belong to us today as in the days a apostle been tried by tradition and philosophy to destroy faith in the scriptures so today by the pleasing sentiments of Higher Criticism Higher Criticism is historical particular method so I think by the methods of higher criticism it's. OK Fair criticism evolution's spirituals I'm excited or the enemy of truth is seeking to lead souls into forbidden. To the Bible many years a lamp without oil because they have turned their minds from the speculative belief that brings misunderstanding and confusion the work of. Higher Criticism in doing what. OK in doing what bisecting conjecturing reconstructing you dissect the text take this text you dissect it. You reconstruct its life starting and then and then you conjecture is life studying rather in the new reconstructed the text and so when you preach this is the work you need to do you need to go through all of this so that you know the life setting you know the historical setting so that you can you can preach what the text is trying to tell you and what it what does that do OK destroying faith in the Bible is the divine revelation that is robbing God's word of what Remember the power to control it's the Bible is a lamp. And it's without oil when you apply these methods and the power of the Word of God. Now today we have a new new philosophy and that is the philosophy that there is no truth. Truth you know whatever it is for you it's for you whatever it is for me is for me there is no truth and I think I don't teach in the classroom but I'm hearing from teachers that that's the kind of thing they're getting from their students there is no truth OK So when you have a new philosophy you have a what new view of God and a new method so here's a method that comes out of postmodernism. There's the. The lowly and this guy says I see purple LOLI and another one says I see a red orange red rose and another one says I see a red apple another when I see a red Corvette the other ones that is I see some balloons who's right that's right they're all right. I mean for us oldsters you know we just don't know but they're all right OK And this is a gun in Athens illustration. To Ms open to Ms close what do you want it to be you want to be open it's open if you want to be close this closed. That's called reader response criticism the new philosophical system the new method reader response theory harmonizes with post-modern thinking the meaning of the text says the term and by the reader so the meaning is not in the Bible itself the meaning is and me meaning is a new meaning in each one of us. Meaning of the to text is a turn by the reader there can be as many meanings as there are readers so just to show you the two different methods of method coming out of Scripture when coming out of historical critical method. So you have the Bickle studies arising out of Scripture so you have the Bible creating the world view and not for the study of scripture reality science psychology anthropology accept or all take place within the worldview that Scripture gives us so historical criteria are used to verify reports of divine activity Bible study like any other book external authority is considered normative instead of the Bible truth is something apart from the Bible and I determine what is true in the Bible if anything tools of historical and literary study determine what in scripture is of value and contains truth so. If I were giving you a text this is a test this is the one I would give you fill in the blanks because I want I want you to understand the philosophy gives you a method gives you a result so we have. A method that came from Neoplatonism. Which origin used which imposed Neoplatonism upon Scripture with Aristotle you have the earth until you have his Tamala jury. Which is imposed on scripture with the Reformation the Bible is its own interpreter sola scriptura historical criticism pissed I'm all for some logical autonomy in light meant historical criticism. Postmodernism meetings individualized response theory now I'm not caring that you memorize this chart but I want you get I want you to understand the chart. You have a philosophy you have a method that goes with that philosophy and then you have the way you interpret scripture which is going to impose that philosophy on scripture so it starts a critical method you have the historical criticism on the one hand and then on the other hand historical people that work from historical critical method don't try to do biblical studies only do philosophical studies so you know philosophical theology historic criticisms of the House is beginning to fall apart even more the Bible reinterpreted on the sand alone so even if the conclusion of a scientific historical or philosophical argument were to Perth to work to affirm the authority of scripture the authority of Scripture would nonetheless rest upon the prior Thord of the grounding principle so whatever principle we use to say that the Bible is the Word of God that's we're authority license where Scripture uses something already from whatever philosophical system restore full system or scientific system exciter of we use those systems as the basis for determining the Scriptures and we're. We've made them. So summary there is a basic continuity from the natural world to religious it's possible to start with the natural world in the process of doing theology and as a pre-determined notion of the nature of God based upon the contemporary around you knowledge of the natural world is not to be determined by special revelation or knowledge of the natural world is discovered by naturalistic methods sola scriptura takes seriously the self's claim of scripture to be the authoritative word of God starts with scripture as the foundation for theology. So all scripture is given by inspiration of God Scripture did not come by the will of the. Holy men of God spoke as they removed the horns. So the nature of scripture. Is the basis principles for the interpretation scripture come out of the room. And turn helps and study scripture within the overall context scripture. Context. Since. 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