Why am I starting this journal?
- In recent years, I have regularly taught general education courses in Bible (BIB 101 Old Testament History and Religion and BIB 102 New Testament History and Religion). I’ve thus had to think hard not only about the Bible, but about the Christian idea of scripture and how to help undergraduates understand that idea. These are the kinds of situations in which you discover that, while you thought you had a firm grip on some idea, your grip was in fact pretty weak.
- I have also taught adult Sunday School classes for most of the last 30 years.
- Several years ago I wrote a small book on the idea of scripture for my denomination’s publishing house. This forced me to try to get clear about ideas such as revelation, inspiration, and authority as they relate to the Bible. Whether I actually achieved clarity is debatable, but the book got published–I would say to rave reviews, but I’m sure that no one has reviewed it.
- I noticed that there are few book on the idea of scripture, in contrast to the tidal wave of books on hermeneutics and interpretation. A notable exception is John Webster’s Holy Scripture. It’s a great book, but Webster and I have differing perspectives on the idea of scripture.
- So, having had to think about these matters because of my teaching and given the lack of other books on the subject, I decided to write my own book.
Why a public journal? Mainly because the book that I want to write will be for pastors and laypeople (i.e., it won’t be aimed primarily at the academic community, although I certainly hope that they buy the book when it comes out). With this audience in mind, it’s important to try out ideas in a public forum, to see which kinds of argumentation and presentation work and which don’t, and to identify assumptions and jargon that are unfamiliar to that audience. Additionally, from a promotional perspective, I wanted to make this book known to readers who might otherwise not learn about it.
So, please feel free to leave a comment. I’m eager to hear how people think about these matters and what sorts of questions people have when it comes to the idea of scripture.