The Bible is fundamental to Christianity. In this course you will understand how the Bible has been understood through the ages.
The importance of the Bible cannot be overstated: Jesus and the earliest Christians shaped their self-identity from its pages, medieval monks spent countless hours meditating on the sacred words, and reformers have been inspired by its radical message to speak the truth of the Gospel. While its message has unified believers through the centuries, debates about biblical interpretation have also caused divisions among the faithful.
How should we approach this book of such spiritual power? This 24-lecture course guides you through over two millennia of biblical interpretation. You will explore the most important ways people have read the Bible in ancient history and in modern times.
After looking at how early Christians inherited scriptural approaches from Judaism, you will explore the tradition of allegorical interpretation in antiquity and the Middle Ages. Next, you will survey the important movements of scholasticism, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Enlightenment, which led to profound debates about the nature of the authority of the Bible and the Church. Finally, you will consider the current state of biblical interpretation, where many different voices are being heard. By learning about the history of biblical interpretation, you will be better able to approach the Bible today.