Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bullinger and the Interpretation of the Bible

The latest issue of Reformation and Renaissance Review has an article on Bullinger and the interpretation of the Bible by Peter Stephens. Stephens has been progressing writing articles on Bullinger.

The article is W. Peter Stephens “The Interpretation of the Bible in Bullinger’s Early Works” Reformation and Renaissance Review, vol 11 (no.3), 2009, pp311-333. The RRR website lists this as the latest edition of RRR but I don’t understand why the year is 2009.

Stephens is correct to point out that Bullinger emphasizes understanding the message of whole individual books of Scripture, the message of the canon as a whole and the message of the individual books in relation to the message of the Bible as a whole.

The following is the abstract of the article:

“This article notes Luther’s, Melanchthon’s, and Augustine’s influence, but also Bullinger’s independence in interpretation. It explores Bullinger’s rejection of the view that Scripture is obscure and needs the Fathers to interpret it. His underlying position is that Scripture interprets Scripture. Other principles include the comparison of passages of Scripture, interpreting a few texts by many, obscure texts by clear ones, the necessity for languages, the use of rhetoric, the covenant and the sum and scope of Scripture, an emphasis on the natural sense, and the contribution of secular disciplines. A concluding section considers briefly Bullinger’s later use of essentially five principles.”

Other subsequent posts will refer to sections of the paper.

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