Compatibility of Modernism and Traditionalism Essay

Compatibility of Modernism and Traditionalism Essay

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The Bible is one of the most influential books in human history. It has survived through numerous attempts to destroy it and all it represents. It has been interpreted different ways throughout the years but two of the most important modes of interpretation are the Traditionalist and Modernist views. The Traditionalist perspective has existed for centuries and originated almost as soon as the Bible itself. Modern biblical scholarship’s rise has been more recent, being led by Charles Briggs in the past few centuries. Along with this rise has come much debate about which perspective is right and whether they can coexist. In order to determine if the views are compatible one can examine the purpose of the way of interpretation, the assumptions made by each, the levels of interpretation of each, and the purpose of the Bible in both modes of interpretation.
Determining the purpose of a way of Biblical interpretation is vital because it sets the course. The purpose is the guiding compass for all interpretations that comes. Ancient interpreters have always viewed the Bible as a book whose main purpose was spiritual nourishment and enlightenment. In fact, what the Bible explicitly says is not the most important aspect of it in Traditionalism. Kugel captures this excellently when he says, “that there was something considered even more important, more powerful than the words of the text themselves.” This leaves the question of what exactly is this something that is more important? For the ancient interpreters it was the meaning that was underlying the words, the mission of serving and worshipping God. Knowing this is vital in understanding that the purpose of Traditionalist views is to expound on this mission of service in every part of ...


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...reas. In the case of Traditionalism and Modern biblical scholarship however there is very little area for agreement. In looking at the purpose of the way of interpretation, the assumptions made by each, the levels of interpretation of each, and the purpose of the Bible in both modes of interpretation one can see conflicts in each area. Modernism is always conflicting the ancient interpreters view because whether or not it was meant to, it is now a replacement for all that Traditionalism teaches. Considering all of this, if Modern biblical scholarship remains as is and does not return to what it was originally meant to be, the two will never be able to be reconciled.








Bibliography
Holy Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1982.
Kugel, James L. How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now. New York, NY: Free Press, 2008.

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