David Law: Historical “Criticism” Is An Approach, Not an Attitude

David R. Law, The Historical-Critical Method: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Continuum, 2012), 8.

The terms ‘criticism’ and ‘critical’ have negative connotations in everyday speech. ‘To be critical’ or ‘to criticize’ normally means to find fault with someone or something. This is not intended to be the meaning the term has when applied to the study of the Bible…. The term ‘critical does not mean that the scholar is hostile to towards the Bible and is hell-bent on picking holes in it. Nor is ‘criticism’ synonymous with ‘scepticism’ or ‘unbelief.’ The terms ‘criticism’ and ‘critical’ do not refer to the personal disposition and motives of the scholars towards the Bible, but to the approach he or she is employing to make sense of the text…. ‘Criticism’ denotes the application of reason to the Bible, irrespective of where this may take the human being and a refusal to allow the understanding of the Bible to be dictated by tradition, the Church, the academy or any other supposed authority.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close