Friday, November 04, 2016

Diversity of views in the Bible

THE ASOR BLOG: It’s Complicated: Biblical Exercise for the Theological and Ethical Imagination (C. L. Crouch).
Why does the Bible matter? Why do we continue to talk about, turn to, and study a diverse assortment of narratives, poems, laws and prophetic proclamations at least two millennia old? The most straightforward answer is that they continue to serve as the sacred texts for two of the world’s major religions, Judaism and Christianity, and as an interlocutor for a third, Islam. As such, they have served as the theological, ethical and social bedrock of half of civilization.

But if this goes some way to explaining their persistence through past ages, it leaves open why these texts might continue to matter in the present and future. Why might these texts remain of interest, particularly in the undeniably diverse cultural milieu which is the modern world? One compelling reason is their own diversity, which contributes in a marked way to their ongoing vitality. The texts and traditions of the Hebrew Bible contain profound differences in their theologies, deep disputes in ethical thought and argumentation, and fundamental disagreements in conceptions of the world and its workings.

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