Historically-Conditioned Scriptures

Posted By on September 1, 2010

This short piece was posted by Larry Hurtado today.† Good food for thought, especially in the context of our (now old) discussion of inspiration (which we will revisit at some point).† Larry targets fundamentalists (read: black and white thinkers) on both the theologically conservative and liberal camps with this one. I haven’t read either of the sources he recommends, but will be looking into them.

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One Response to “Historically-Conditioned Scriptures”

  1. Gary says:

    I agree with the post. I have not heard the term “historically-conditioned” before. However, as any person into history knows, all history has “spin” added by the writers. The winners of wars write the history. The losers, if they are lucky, get their side eventually represented. But maybe not. So for scripture….
    1) Man hears revelation from God.
    2) Man writes revelation from God, but adds his own influenced thoughts.
    3) Later, perhaps, a more powerful group of people, nation, government, etc. decides to “modify it, to fit it’s purposes.
    OK – the scriptures still have the thread of God’s revelation, if we’re lucky, but you have to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    Example – Deuteronomic Reformation under Josiah, priesthood just happens to find the Book of Law to kick off the reformation, destroy all the shrines and altars in Israel, and have just the one Temple in Jerusalem. They eliminate the idols from Assyria (since Assyria started to decline) in the Temple. Nice coincidence. Question is – was it God that provided the Book of Law at the time? (Not that it didn’t have some great thoughts). It didn’t save Judah, since Josiah was killed by the Egyptians, and Babylon took over shortly afterwards. The whole Leviticus “thing” is the same way.
    OK – I’m liberal, and I grew up in the 60’s, so conspiracies are part of my history.

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