American evangelical study Bibles after Auschwitz : toward responsible interpretation / by Robert William Bleakney
Includes bibliographical references (p. 568-616)
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Electronic version from ProQuest
This dissertation challenges a problem of prejudice in Christian biblical interpretation, using American evangelical study Bibles as a practical focus for reform. It argues that American evangelical study Bibles can draw upon the Bible's moral power to inspire Christians toward good in their relations with Jews, and thus extend the legacy of Christians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, so that their righteous tradition of teaching about Jews—and not that of malicious or thoughtless predecessors—will be passed down to future generations, and recognized by them as normative evangelical tradition. Chapter two suggests that a hermeneutical strategy for responding to this problem should be regarded by evangelicals and Jews as mutually beneficial, contribute to reciprocal (rather than one-way) evangelical-Jewish communication, and contribute toward a future with more humane tradition(s). In addition, it should make use of overlapping fragments of communities' moral languages, as influenced by their traditions and memories. Further, it should aim to extend the standards of excellence in a practice (MacIntyre) by linking them to virtue(s) coherent with ongoing tradition(s) of reflection on excellence and a vision of excellence in life as a whole. Chapter three endeavors to understand evangelicals and Jews' traditions and memories.Chapters four, five, and six provide a theological, moral, and hermeneutical basis for a hermeneutical proposal by linking it to a vision of reform within the ongoing moral tradition of American evangelicalism based upon biblical principles (ch. 4), the virtue of responsibility in the lives of interpreters, readers, and publishers (ch. 5), and evangelicals' existing standards of excellence in biblical interpretation (ch. 6). Part Two proposes that evangelicals' existing standards of excellence be extended in accordance with both biblical principles and the concerns of Holocaust survivors. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 suggest that interpreters for American evangelical study Bibles seek greater understanding between Christians and Jews, especially by shunning anti-Jewish libels and encouraging appreciation for the Jewish roots of the Christian faith (ch. 7); strive to mend race relations (ch. 8); and seek to cultivate habits of prayerful resistance to acts of prejudice (ch. 9).
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