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Historical VS Confessional Approach to the New Testament

Uploaded by thenext on Apr 03, 2007

Historical VS Confessional Approach to the New Testament

In looking at ancient Christianity through the eyes of history, one must distance themselves from their faith or biases in order to look at this religion objectively. For me this will be difficult because I do believe that the New Testament as well as the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God. I do understand that in looking at the New Testament historically, the student must realize that history only presents the facts while a person of faith tries to connect the facts to present their point of view.
One of the differences in the historical and confessional approach is that the historical approach only deals with the facts of public record. They do not take into account rumors, myths, or hearsay. Historians reconstruct the past to see what probably happened. The problem with this aspect of historical approach is that it does not allow for feelings, or emotions. It just looks at the facts or the public record and than tries to recreate the past.
A confessional approach, or a faith based approach takes the methodology of applying what is said or written and applying it to their lives and than that becomes truth to them.
The problem with this is that it could give way to historical inaccuracies. It also does not allow the person to understand the culture or what was happening when the New Testament was being written. Too many Christians today read the Bible and treat it as if it were written in today’s culture and therefore take a lot of it’s meaning out of context.
Another difference between the two approaches is that the historical approach looks at each book or writing individual and lets it speak for itself while the confessional approach practices what is known as hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the study of scripture in the light of all other scripture. Meaning, that even though it may seem that two authors disagree on a subject, they may actually agree with each other.
When looking at the New Testament historically can help the believer if the believer understands that these are merely the historical facts and that historians really have no idea of the thoughts, emotions, or spiritual aspects of the writers. The historian can learn from the confessional approach in the same way. I believe that the two can actually help each other in studding the New Testament by...

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Uploaded by:   thenext

Date:   04/03/2007

Category:   Religion

Length:   2 pages (413 words)

Views:   5851

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