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Beyond The Bible By Howard Marshall Analysis

Satisfactory Essays
Beyond the Bible, written by Howard Marshall, is a compilation of essays that seek to propose a biblically sound way to move from biblical text to doctrine and application. Marshall believes that if one is going to move “beyond the bible,” they must do so “biblically.” A concern for Marshall is also how to properly apply scripture to controversial matters in the church today. The book includes more than just Marshall’s work, but essays written by Kevin Vanhoozer and Stanley Porter as well, which backs the idea that hermeneutics should be a discussion, not a solo speech.
In Marshall’s first essay, ‘Evangelicals and Hermeneutics,’ he summarizes the state of evangelical theology in relation to hermeneutics. Marshall describes how over the past thirty years, evangelical scholars have come to appreciate hermeneutics more than ever before. Evangelical scholars now grasp and explore hermeneutical concerns at all levels of study: general hermeneutics, exegesis, as well as exposition and application. Marshall states that while examining an author’s intent is important, it overlooks the question of sensus plenior, the work’s deeper meaning intended by God, not necessarily by the human author.
In Marshall’s second essay, ‘The Development of Doctrine,’ he identifies two approaches to biblical interpretation, conservative and progressive. Marshall witnessed a need for greater clarity in regards to worship practices, principles, and theology due to the varying opinions among evangelical interpreters. Marshall mentions, “It is especially the duty of evangelical Christians to provide some kind of reasoned, principled approach to the question of the development of doctrine from Scripture” (Marshall 45).
Marshall’s third essay, ‘The Search for Bi...

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...ques approaches based on the historical-critical method, the speech-act theory, and the approach of Wittgenstein. Porter’s view is that Paul, himself, had his own opinions on Jesus, God, and Christianity overall. Porter suggests using the translation theory when looking to go beyond the bible. He believes one should carefully examine the core of what is being said in scripture, and then translate it into today’s language.
Beyond the Bible is full of useful insights regarding how to apply scripture to doctrine and everyday life. Marshall, Vanhoozer, and Porter are all well-educated theologians. How to faithfully apply Scripture to everyday life is not conclusively agreed upon and laid out in this book, but it pushes readers to think about biblical interpretation in new ways. As mentioned earlier, hermeneutics is meant to be an on-going discussion, not a solo speech.
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