ABSTRACT

By surveying proposals on canonical interpretation submitted in the last 15 years, we can trace a gradual rift between the proposals that theologians submit and the proposals that biblical scholars submit. In particular, we will identify an old but largely unrecognized distinction between hypermaterial and nonmaterial forms of canonical reading. The hypermaterial reading—often adopted by biblical scholars—fuses how the canon functions with how the canon was formed. The second type of reading, a nonmaterial reading, focuses on canonical unity and tends to be a position held by theologians. These proponents do not completely abandon the physical features of canon but claim that the unity of the canon comes from the outside—through the lens of theological (and a theocentric) cohesion. Given these two extremes, either a third option or a bridge that closes the gap is necessary.

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