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Biblical Interpretation: History, Context, and Reality
Christine Helmer
SymS 26
Publication Date
August 2005


This volume offers a unique approach to the history of biblical interpretation, examining the historical, theological, and philosophical presuppositions of select interpreters in order to tease out the complexity of factors that shape one’s engagement with biblical texts. Taking seriously the power of biblical texts to shape and address questions common to all humanity, these essays not only provide a window into how the biblical text was read at specific times and places but also suggest fruitful ways to read it today. Contributions in both English and German focus on biblical interpretation in Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity, nineteenth-century German philosophy, and contemporary biblical theology.

Christine Helmer is Associate Professor of Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Associate Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. Taylor G. Petrey is a Th.D. candidate at Harvard Divinity School.


Introduction—Biblical Theology: Reality and Interpretation across Disciplines
—Christine Helmer

Part 1: Historical and Theological Interpretation

Biblische Theologie heute: Formale und materiale Aspekte
—Bernd Janowski

New Garments for Biblical Joseph
—Maren R. Niehoff

Heracleon and John: Reassessment of an Early Christian Hermeneutical Debate
—Harold W. Attridge

The Enscripturation of Philosophy: The Incorporeality of God in Origen’s Exegesis
—Karen Jo Torjesen

Part 2: Philosophical Interpretation

The Democratization of Messianism in Modern Jewish Thought
—Marvin A. Sweeney

Verkündigung in Übereinstimmung mit der Vernunft: Fichtes Auslegung des Johannesevangeliums
—Stephan Grätzel

The Consummation of Reality: Soteriological Metaphysics in Schleiermacher’s Interpretation of Colossians 1:15–20
—Christine Helmer

Die Dialektik von Freiheit und Sünde: Hegels Interpretation von Genesis 3
—Joachim Ringleben

Anerkannte Kontingenz: Schellings existentiale Interpretation des Johannesprologs in der Philosophie der Offenbarung
—Wilhelm Gräb

Feuerbach and the Hermeneutics of Imagination
—Garrett Green