A leading biblical scholars landmark work challenges the historical realism that has dominated the discipline for more than two centuries
How can a modern person, informed by science and history, continue to recite the traditional creeds and confessions of the Christian church? What does the Bible mean and how do we verify biblical truths? In this groundbreaking book, a leading biblical scholar urges readers to be more creative interpreters of biblical texts, mapping out an alternative way of reading that is not first and foremost about understanding what those texts would have meant for the original authors and readers.
Limiting our study to the ancient meaning of the text, he argues, has produced either bad history, or bad theology, or both. One cannot derive robustly orthodox Christian doctrine or theology from a mere "historical" interpretation of the Bible. Martin offers instead theological readings of the New Testament that are faithful to Christian orthodoxy as generally understood, but without attempting a "foundationalist" understanding of the meaning of the text. His provocative and ambitious book demonstrates how theology and scripture can remain vital in the twenty-first century.
Dale B. Martin is Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His numerous books include New Testament History and Literature.
"Written in Martins customary fresh and lucid style, this book is a mature and considered theology from an academic who has been immersed over a career studying the New Testament. A landmark in contemporary theology."Graham Ward, University of Oxford
"An eye-opening and liberating book, Biblical Truths cuts through some of the most profound aspects of the religion/culture wars in our contemporary world. Martin offers a way forward that I believe will be deeply influential for a long time to come." John M.G. Barclay, Durham University
"A fascinating and even exciting work. Martin fits his own scholarly and confessional experience into the work in a way that is quite compelling." Stephen E. Fowl, Loyola University
"Dale Martin's Biblical Truths marks an outstanding contribution to theological interpretation. Hermeneutical sophistication, historical acuity, and theological sensitivity converge in a readable, persuasive, and sound exposition of Scripture."A. K. M. Adam, University of Oxford
"[An] incisive, illuminating book . . . [that] will help believers and nonbelievers alike interpret or defend faith in the 21st century."Publishers Weekly
"Martin uses clear, direct, uncomplicated language in addressing complex theological ideas . . . An extremely readable and accessible argument."Steven Schweitzer, Reading Religion