What does it mean to say that Scripture REVEALS God? Propositional Revelation You need: 1 red card 4 blue cards 3 purple cards 8 blue cards 3 orange cards A treasury tag An information sheet Newspaper reports that cover the same story Today’s lesson is successful if: • You can understand why different people interpret the Bible in different ways • You can explain the history of Biblical Criticism since the Middle ages • You understand the reasons why there are different types of Biblical Criticism Key Questions • Religious believers believe that scripture reveals something about God. How can we use Human words to describe the ineffable? • If God is timeless, how can we understand him using human words? How could the grammar of God work? Newspapers… • How have the different newspapers in front of you interpreted the story in Ukraine? Why? • How might the news be presented in Ukraine? In Russia? In China? Or perhaps other countries bordering Russia? The Bible is not just one book • The Bible is split into different sections. What are they? • How many books of the Bible are there? • What different types of book are there? The Bible has different types of literature. Much was never meant to be interpreted literally Think back to the story of Genesis. When did we begin to think that the account for the creation of the world was not strictly ‘true’? As far back as 200 CE Origen suggested that the Genesis account was not be meant to be read literally The Middle Ages In the Middle Ages, scripture was not taken as literally as other times. They developed a subtle four-fold technique to bring out the full meaning of the text: 1. Literal sense (on historical accounts) 2. Allegorical sense (to establish spiritual meaning) 3. Tropological sense (brings out pastoral and moral meaning) 4. Anagogical sense (dealing with eschatology and the heavenly realms) They created many commentaries and glossaries of the Bible th 16 Century What is this? When translated into Mongolian, our word house MEANS the same thing. However, a persons understanding of it would be completely different. 16th Century The reformers wanted to look at the original text to find its original meaning. They thought that the Bible had been corrupted by the Catholic Church. Erasmus of Rotterdam - we need to look beyond what the words mean to see what the words were meant by the person who said or wrote them. Martin Luther – wanted everyone to use close textual reading John Calvin – looked at the Bible as the ‘whole word of God’ 19th Century Huge Developments in Biblical Criticism: 1) Higher Criticism 2) Historical Criticism 3) Literary Criticism 4) Source Criticism 5) Form Criticism 6) Tradition(al) Criticism 7) Redaction Criticism 8) Textual Criticism Choose 1 of the newspaper articles How would each look at the article? 1) Higher Criticism 2) Historical Criticism 3) Literary Criticism 4) Source Criticism 5) Form Criticism 6) Tradition(al) Criticism 7) Redaction Criticism 8) Textual Criticism 20th Century Literal/Fundamentalists – the Bible is the inerrant word of God Conservatives – Scripture IS the word of God, but accepts Biblical scholarship Liberals – take a very open approach to scripture. Bultmann would fit in here. Rudolf Bultmann – demythologising Test Each Other… • Tomorrow, we shall consider - what are the advantages of interpreting the Bible in different ways? Lesson 2: Problems with Biblical Criticism Test each other on the Literary Criticism Terms Aquinas • Tried to combine faith with reason. Karl Barth • Rejected this… Why? Karl Barth (1886 – 1968) • Knowledge of God can only be found in Christianity • The Old Testament is open to testing to check how it relates to the New Testament (it is superior to the OLD) • In Church Dogmatics: – God reveals to humans when he wants, not when man wants – Divine revelation is not the same as human insight – Ordinary language is inadequate to convey revelation – Revelation is a personal disclosure of God’s being and nature – Revelation is conveyed through the witness of the Bible – Revelation is only given in Jesus Christ Propositional Revelation Non-propositional Revelation • God directly revealing truths about his nature • The idea that God does not reveal facts or truths to people: instead the religious believer acts in human history through human experience. Propositional Revelation: Moses • Believed by some to have received a THEOPHANY when he received the copy of the first five books of the law and the two stone tablets with the 10 commandments. It is thought to have contained NO errors (inerrant). • How would this have been viewed by the different interpretations from yesterdays lesson? Problems with MOSES • Eternal, non-physical, transcendent being that exists outside spatio-temporal universe. • How can Moses have free will • How can he SEE/HEAR a non physical being? Propositional Revelation: Was scripture DICTATED? • Henry Morris (YEC) held the view that humans have simply copied the text by divine dictation (amanuensis). • Still has problems of interactionism. Evaluate Propositional Revelation How can it be sure that propositional revelation is from God? How can an eternal God act in a spatio-temporal way The scribe has no free will and has to write and obey If scripture reveals facts about God, it is still limited by human language. More modern approach to scripture: Non Propositional Revelation • God has revealed himself to the writers via religious experiences that are ineffable. However the writers try to put their experiences into words • Friedrich Schleiermacher believed that the biblical texts came about as writers reflected on their religious experiences. Faith is BELIEVED IN. • Buber (I-THOU) relationship Scriptures inspired… • Just like a child who is inspired by an excellent footballer, the writer has had an experience of the Divine that informs their writing. This overcomes the problem of interactionism Consider William James & Swinburne Evaluating Non-Propositional Revelation • There is no direct knowledge of God revealed as the revelation is a result of human understanding and interpretation of events • The content needs interpreting and may not lead to God • There is no absolute certainty about what is being revealed. Why would someone who accepts the non-propositional approach to the Bible need to hold that there are some propositional truths in the Bible? If there was no propositional truth in the Bible why would religious believers act on the teachings? Unless the believer accepts that scripture is inspired by God then all the teachings are just irrelevant. Essay: Due Monday To what extent can God reveal himself through sacred writings? You can check the OCR website for the Markscheme AND examiners report for this essay title. January 2011 Plenary Plan • What 5 POINTS would you like to make in the essay?