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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the epochal shift in scriptural interpretation in the nineteenth century. Applying historical investigation to accounts of divine inspiration and revelation resulted in a call for a radical reconstruction of Christian theology, especially as developed in liberal Protestantism. There were a number of responses to such reconstruction of Christian faith. One option was to resist the logic of liberal Protestantism’s normative apologetic while retaining an existential appropriation of biblical heroes and narratives. A second option was to develop a whole new apologetic for the traditional position on inspiration and inerrancy. A third option was to shore up the appeal to biblical authority by a theory of development culminating in a doctrine of papal infallibility. Fourth, there was the populist option of focusing on personal piety and working from a deflationary soteriological vision of Scripture. All five options, if we include liberal Protestantism, continue to flourish.

Keywords: Scripture, Bible, biblical interpretation, authority of Scripture, inerrancy, biblical criticism, Ernst Troeltsch, John Henry Newman, liberal Protestantism

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