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date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The theology of the Protestant Reformation placed great emphasis upon the Word of God, which led both to a reorientation of worship around the Word read and preached, and a focus upon the text of Scripture. This fueled the rise of linguistic studies and development of highly sophisticated approaches to biblical exegesis. In addition, polemical engagement with an increasingly sophisticated Catholicism led to further elaboration and refinement of the doctrine of scripture, particularly in relation to its perspicuity and sufficiency. Ironically, the overriding Protestant concern for scripture as the Word of God therefore put in place the technical tools and scholarly disciplines that served to undermine the classic Protestant position; and as the philosophical foundations of Reformed orthodoxy came under vigorous attack, the unity of its approach essentially collapsed towards the end of the seventeenth century, condemning the tradition as a whole to the intellectual margins in the eighteenth century.

Keywords: Scripture, Word, exegesis, inspiration, perspicuity, tradition, authority, Reformation, Protestant

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