Read­ing be­tween the lines

The Church of England - - Letters - The Rev David Stu­art-Smith, Lon­don SE1

Sir, Re­spond­ing to John Hughes’ let­ter (16 May), I think he is un­wise to use the term “read­ing be­tween the lines” for bi­b­li­cal ex­po­si­tion and in­ter­pre­ta­tion. It is far too vague a term for good the­ol­ogy.

It may be that John Hughes’ reader friend be­lieves in the unity of Isa­iah, which is still held by a num­ber of the best Old Tes­ta­ment schol­ars. Per­haps the supreme ex­am­ple is Alec Mo­tyer whose fairly re­cent mam­moth com­men­tary on Isa­iah is sec­ond to none. ( The Prophecy of Isa­iah, Alec Mo­tyer, IVP, 1993).

Also, John Hughes’ ref­er­ence to many hun­dreds of ‘Bibles’ is strange as only the Scrip­tures in the orig­i­nal lan­guages (He­brew, Ara­maic and Greek) are im­por­tant. In this area mod­ern tex­tual crit­i­cism has agreed very con­sid­er­ably as to the un­der­ly­ing text with less than five per cent dis­agree­ment, and with no dis­agree­ment over any ma­jor doc­trine.

As for tak­ing things at ‘face value’, if that means tak­ing the words you see be­fore you se­ri­ously, then surely we must take the Bi­ble at face value and ap­ply to it all the schol­ar­ship at our dis­posal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.