The Genesis of Contextualization


It is very possible that we do not honor biblical authority precisely by forcing an overly literalistic interpretation on the text.

Why? A “literal” reading (from our perspective) may in fact overlook the biblical audience’s cultural context. Accordingly, we might impose our assumptions onto the text, resulting in interpretations that ignore the writer and audience to whom God originally revealed Himself.

ILOVELITERALISMIn The Lost World of Adam and Eve, Walton clarifies what it means to affirm the Bible’s authority. (He elaborates on this topic more fully in The Lost World of Scripture.) He says:

“The authority and inerrancy of the text is, and has traditionally been, attached to what it affirms. Those affirmations are not of a scientific nature. The text does not affirm that we think with our entrails (though [the Old Testament] communicates in those terms because that is what the ancient audience believed.) The text…

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