Bridging a False Divide

From the April 2014 Print Edition

Two years ago, a colleague of mine, a specialist in the Old Testament, sidled over to me at a faculty party and asked, “What are you working on?” I replied eagerly, “Actually, something right up your alley. I’m writing a commentary on Second Samuel.” His face darkened and, leaning in close to me, he whispered, “You have no business writing a commentary on Second Samuel.”We laughed together, but his comment reflects an attitude fairly common among biblical scholars, namely, that there yawns a great gulf between serious analysis of Scripture and my field of systematic theology. How could someone not well-versed in Hebrew and other ancient Semitic languages and not thoroughly trained in the science of the historical-critical method possibly compose a worthwhile commentary on a major Old Testament text? Continue Reading »