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Document Details :

Title: Dialogue with Tradition
Subtitle: Challenges Confronting Exegesis and Biblical Theology in the 21st Century
Author(s): VAN BELLE, Gilbert
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 28    Issue: 1   Date: spring 2003   
Pages: 3-11
DOI: 10.2143/LS.28.1.501767

Abstract :
No single book in the history of western civilisation has exerted greater influence on the way we live than the Bible. Throughout the centuries this 'Word of God' has served the Christian community as both
canon and point of reference. The Bible has been both used and abused for countless purposes, so much so that readers are often surprised to find that one and the same text has been explained in a variety of often highly disparate ways. While for many the Bible represents a source of inspiration for selfless engagement and sacrifice on behalf of the community, it remains evident nevertheless that biblical texts have not infrequently been used to serve personal interests and in some instances even
to legitimate political regimes. In spite of the 2000-year gap between our postmodern society and the Semitic and Hellenistic world and in spite of evidence of a degree of disinterest, the Bible continues to inspire many. The final two centuries of the previous millennium have witnessed a great deal of change with respect to the explanation of biblical texts, especially within the Catholic Church: 'Little of the traditional understanding of inspiration has survived. Instead of the concept ‘infallible’, taken for cen-
turies to be the Bible’s greatest quality, we now speak in terms of ‘truth’, a concept that leaves open considerable room for interpretation. The Bible as Word of God has also become a human book, a book in which human persons in all their diversity are far from strangers.'

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