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The New Cambridge History of the Bible
  • Volume 4: From 1750 to the Present
  • Edited by John Riches, University of Glasgow

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    The New Cambridge History of the Bible
    • Volume 4: From 1750 to the Present
    • Edited by John Riches
    • Online ISBN: 9780511842870
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Book description

This volume examines the Bible's role in the modern world - beginning with a treatment of its production and distribution that discusses publishers, printers, text critics, and translators and continuing with a presentation of new methods of studying the text that have emerged, including historical, literary, social-scientific, feminist, postcolonial, liberal, and fundamentalist readings. There is a full discussion of the changes in understandings of and approaches to the Bible in various faith communities. The dissemination of the Bible throughout the globe has also produced a host of new interpretations, and this volume provides a comprehensive geographical survey of its reception. In the final chapters, the authors offer a thematic overview of the Bible in relation to literature, art, film, science, and other disciplines. They demonstrate that, in spite of challenges to the Bible's authority in western Europe, it remains highly relevant and influential, not least in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

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  • 7 - Social-scientific readings of the Bible
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    A history of critical editions of the Greek New Testament and the methods developed to create them coincide with virtually the entire history of New Testament textual criticism. Thereby, Karl Konrad Friedrich Wilhelm Lachmann's Greek text became the first to be recognised as a decisive break from the textus receptus, which in some form stood at the head of the pages in virtually all preceding editions. This chapter explores Lachmann's text-critical criteria in systematic fashion. A new tool, the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method, developed by Gerd Mink in Münster, is currently being refined for assessing relationships among the texts in all of extant New Testament manuscripts by a highly sophisticated computer program that, by employing the present array of external and internal criteria, constructs a local stemma for each place of variation. Reasoned Eclecticism has a history that began with the first discussions of canons of criticism, accompanied by refinements along the way.
  • 8 - Reception history of the Bible
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    From the mid-eighteenth to the late nineteenth centuries the chronology of production and distribution of the Bible, especially in popular editions, combines two narratives. The first traces a remarkable story of technological development in the printing and related industries, while the second follows the growth of cultural infrastructures that supported evangelical enthusiasm. Once printed, bibles had to be distributed. In the decades before the introduction of bible societies, religious authorities undertook this task directly. Within the Roman Catholic communion, distribution was generally limited to those copies required by members of the clergy. The laws and structure of the new organisation, called the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS), responded to the social and religious tensions within English society. American Bible Society (ABS) incursions were facilitated by an 1860 agreement permitting either society to print editions financed by the other, provided that no changes were made to the text.
  • 9 - The uses of the Bible in theology
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    The reception of the Bible in the vernacular sidestepped the controversies that accompanied the circulation of the Bible in early modern Europe. However, unwittingly, it produced the movements of indigenisation and liberation. The stimulus of indigenous theology was often a corollary and consequence of the creation of the vernacular Bible, with the work of field inquiry opening the door to indigenous inquiry and reflection. Bible translation evoked and reinforced the religious substratum of traditional society, with biblical stories opening the way for the recovery of local narrative traditions. With the impetus of the Bible Society of Java, which was founded in 1816, Portuguese gave way to Malay in Bible translation. The religious motive of the missionary vocation often encouraged missionaries to try to produce translations of enduring value. The message of the Bible ended the isolation of tribe and language, slowed the process of neglect and indifference, and allowed translators use obscure languages to produce a simple communication system.
  • 11 - Liberal readings of the Bible and their conservative responses
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    The History of Religions School is the name adopted by a small group of friends who were students, then untenured instructors in the theological faculty of the University of Göttingen beginning around 1890. The school's preoccupation with theology and their rejection of the way theology was done around them had a quite particular focus. They had come to Göttingen to study with Albrecht Ritschl, the doyen of liberal theology. The identification and description of those religious movements constituted one of the most creative, influential, but ultimately most problematic of the contributions which the History of Religions School made to modern scholarship. Even scholars who reject most of the findings and much of the method of the History of Religions School agree that the understanding of biblical religion can never be the same as it was before their work, which can only be replaced by better history.
  • 12 - The use of the Bible in dialectical theology
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    The rise of biblical archaeology, which came to dominate and control the archaeological investigation of Palestine, demonstrates how closely intertwined the study of the Bible and archaeology had become. European expansion opened up Palestine to much more extensive archaeological exploration. The European powers that were competing to control the land for strategic reasons were also competing to own and control its past. Political and economic power alone is never sufficient to maintain imperial adventures, cultural power is also required. Palestine's strategic importance to Britain in the struggle with France for control of the region was a crucial factor in the founding of the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1865. The period from 1920s onwards is often referred to as the golden age of biblical archaeology, a time when many of the major sites were excavated and many of the great figures of archaeology and biblical studies shaped their disciplines.
  • 13 - Existential(ist) interpretation of the New Testament
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    Scholars reserve the term 'literary criticism' for approaches influenced by contemporary literary criticism as taught under the banner of Comparative Literature or of a single language such as English or Spanish. Source, form and redaction criticism are historical rather than literary approaches. This chapter examines how these criticisms view author, text and audience. It also focuses on narratives, and traces a move from the dominance of German to Anglophone scholarship and beyond. Source criticism presented and presents a challenge to Jews and Christians holding Mosaic authorship to be critical to Torah's divine inspiration and authority as well as to literary unity grounded in that authorship. Classic form criticism views many biblical texts as the products of oral tradition in which small units circulated. Redaction criticism focuses on the editing. In the Hebrew Bible studies this often falls under the rubric of tradition history. In New Testament studies, the literary turn gave birth to narrative criticism.
  • 14 - Liberationist readings of the Bible
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    Some biblical scholars realised that to understand the historical, political and social background of the Vietnam War and found them in the social sciences. The works of this group were among the seminal studies for social-scientific readings of the Bible. Norman Gottwald used sociological and social-anthropological theory to argue that ancient Israel was not established by external immigration, but by social conflicts within Canaanite society. Initially social-science readings primarily employed theories and models from sociology and social anthropology. The focus on foreignness made social anthropology more relevant than sociology based on studies of modern societies. The emphasis on the foreignness of the biblical texts represents a contrast to the hermeneutics of Rudolf Bultmann, who saw the similarities in understanding of life between the New Testament and its modern readers. One of the strongest criticisms of social-science approaches as they have been practised by male scholars has come from feminist perspectives.
  • 15 - Feminist readings of the Bible
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    This chapter explores some distinctive characteristics and interests of Bible's reception history. It discusses the relationship between reception history and Wirkungsgeschichte. Reception history focuses on the reader or interpreter, how they receive the text in their particular historical and cultural setting. It is possible to distinguish between reception historians who conduct their work within particular theological and ecclesial traditions, those who treat the study of a book's reception as a means to a better understanding of its original meaning, and others who want to keep the parameters and potential for meanings as broad as possible. Theological openness to the key exegetical traditions of Judaism and Christianity and their classic exegetes, represents one major strand within reception history. The Blackwell Companion to the Bible and Culture, edited by John Sawyer, is indicative of the wide potential of another strand in reception history. A visit to a Gothic cathedral can be an exercise in reception history.
  • 16 - Post-colonial readings of the Bible
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    This chapter examines the use of the Bible from the perspective of the relatively recent revival of interest in pre-modern biblical interpretation. Without ignoring the great variety of views and uses of Scripture by pre-modern theologians, recent scholarship has identified several characteristic hermeneutical conventions, each one of which has been contested, or has simply withered away in the modern era. Hermeneutical consensus dissolves in the modern era, with profound consequences for Christian theological interpretation of the Bible. The Bible was a textbook, propounding ideas about God's nature and that were vouchsafed by God to its authors so that what they taught, God taught. Scholars pursuing biblical criticism's diachronic forms often share certain presuppositions with those whose work has been described thus far. Whether they are employing the critical methods to encourage or to undermine Christian devotion to God, diachronic critics assume that biblical meanings are referential and univocal.
  • 17 - Jewish readings of the Bible
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    It is widely assumed that Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was an idealist, indeed, the pre-eminent philosopher of idealism. Hegel insisted, however, that idealism is not to be understood as the antithesis of realism; rather, it overreaches and embraces realism. Hegel's distinction between representation (Vorstellung) and concept (Begrif) and his way of connecting them, has played a fateful role in the history of idealist interpretations of the Bible. Hegel knew that ultimately only faith can see that God is present in Christ. The two principal disciples of Hegel in biblical studies were David Friedrich Strauss and Ferdinand Christian Baur. Strauss severed Hegel's mediation of the real and the ideal, Vorstellung and Begrif, whereas Baur re-established it on a critical basis. The chapter focuses on Christology because it is what connects the three thinkers in their interpretations of the Bible. As far as Jesus' divinity is concerned, Baur interpreted it in Hegelian fashion, but with an interesting variation.
  • 18 - The Bible in philosophy and hermeneutics
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    This chapter addresses the institutional context of the study of the Bible both in the university and the church. It focuses on nineteenth-century Germany, where theological problems were discussed most keenly, and offers comparisons with the development of theology and biblical studies in both England and the United States. The dichotomy between liberal and conservative makes sense only in relation to this more general problem of authority, which was at the heart of the massive cultural and intellectual revolutions and reactions through the nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century, many German theologians sought different solutions to the problem of history which rested less on direct experience and more on a distinctive kind of knowledge. Scholars such as the Swiss-born Philip Schaf, helped professionalise American biblical studies, establishing it outside its traditional home in conservative denominational institutions. The socio-historical method sought to carry out sociological investigations of the biblical texts as products of their environment.

Page 1 of 2

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Gordon D. Fee , ‘Codex Sinaiticus in the Gospel of John: A Contribution to Methodology in Establishing Manuscript Relationships’, NTS 15 (1968/69), pp. 23–44

Gordon D. Fee , ‘Rigorous or Reasoned Eclecticism – Which?’, in J. Keith Elliott (ed.), Studies in New Testament Language and Text: Essays in Honour of George D. Kilpatrick on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, NovTSup 44 (Leiden: Brill, 1976), pp. 174–97

J. Keith Elliott , ‘Rational Criticism and the Text of the New Testament’, Theology 75 (1972), pp. 338–43 at pp. 340–1

J. Keith Elliott , ‘The International Project to Establish a Critical Apparatus to Luke’s Gospel’, NTS 29 (1983), pp. 531–8

David C. Parker , The Living Text of the Gospels (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Eldon Jay Epp , ‘The Multivalence of the Term “Original Text” in New Testament Textual Criticism’, HTR 92 (1999), pp. 245–81

E. J. Epp , ‘It’s All about Variants: A Variant-Conscious Approach to New Testament Textual Criticism’, HTR 100 (2007), pp. 275–308

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William R. Hutchison , ‘Modern Missions: The Liberal Search for an Exportable Christianity: 1875–1935’, in John K. Fairbank (ed.), The Missionary Enterprise in China and America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974), pp. 110–24 at p. 119

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Phillip Richards , ‘Phillis Wheatley and Literary Americanization’, American Quarterly 44 (1992), pp. 163–91

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Werner Sollors , Neither Black nor White yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 99

Stephen R. Haynes , Noah’s Curse (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 7

Manuel du colporteur (1865), in Michèle Sacquin , ‘“Évangélisez la France!”: Les Bibles protestantes dans la France rurale (1814–1870)’, Revue de l’histoire des religions 218 (2001), pp. 113–41

T. Larsen , Crisis of Doubt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 244

Grant Wacker , ‘Functions of Faith in Primitive Pentecostalism’, Harvard Theological Review 77 (1984), pp. 353–75 at p. 365

Scott Ellington , ‘History, Story, and Testimony: Locating Truth in a Pentecostal Hermeneutic’, Pneuma 23:2 (2001), pp. 245–64

Gerald Sheppard , ‘Biblical Interpretation after Gadamer’, Pneuma 16:1 (1994), pp. 121–41

Richard Israel , Daniel Albrecht and Randal McNally , ‘Pentecostals and Hermeneutics: Texts, Rituals, and Community’, Pneuma 15:2 (1993), pp. 137–61

Joseph Byrd , ‘Paul Ricoeur’s Hermeneutical Theory and Pentecostal Proclamation’, Pneuma 15:2 (Fall 1993), pp. 203–14

Robert Menzies , ‘Jumping Off the Postmodern Bandwagon’, Pneuma 16:1 (1994), pp. 115–20

Charles Bloomberg , Christian-Nationalism and the Rise of the Afrikaner Broederbond in South Africa, 1918–48 (London: Macmillan, 1990)

John Riches , The Bible: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 120

Walter Moberly , ‘The Use of Scripture in Contemporary Debate about Homosexuality’, Theology 103 (July–August 2000), pp. 251–8

Bernadette J. Brooten , Love between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996)

I. Bartlett , ‘Boyce and Early English Oratorio – 2’, Musical Times 120:1635 (May 1979), pp. 390–1

R. J. Bruce Bartlett , ‘William Boyce’s Solomon’, Music & Letters 61:1 (January 1980), pp. 28–49 at p. 45

Martin J. S. Rudwick , Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2005)

James R. Moore , The Post-Darwinian Controversies: A Study of the Protestant Struggle to Come to Terms with Darwin in Great Britain and America 1870–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979)

Frank M. Turner , ‘The Victorian Conflict between Science and Religion: A Professional Dimension’, Isis 69 (1978), pp. 356–76

Kenneth Archer , ‘Pentecostal Story: The Hermeneutical Filter for the Making of Meaning’, Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 26:1 (Spring 2004), 36–59.

Astérios Argyriou , ‘La Bible dans l’Orthodoxie grecque au XVIIe siècle’, Revue des Sciences Religieuses 64 (1990), 141–68.

Matthias Becker , ‘A Tenet under Examination: Reflections on the Pentecostal Hermeneutical Approach’, Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association 24 (2004), 30–48.

William J. Burchell , Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa, ed. and with a new introduction by A. Gordon-Brown , vol. ii (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, 1824; repr. Cape Town: C. Struik, 1967).

Timothy Cargal , ‘Beyond the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy: Pentecostals and Hermeneutics in a Postmodern Age’, Pneuma 15:2 (Fall 1993), 163–88.

Mark D. Chapman , Ernst Troeltsch and Liberal Theology: Religion and Cultural Synthesis in Wilhelmine Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Elizabeth A. Clark , ‘Holy Women, Holy Words: Early Christian Women, Social History, and the “Linguistic Turn”’, Journal of Early Christian Studies 6:3 (1998), 413–30.

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Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff , Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism and Consciousness in South Africa, vol. i (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991).

L. Davidson , ‘Biblical Archaeology and the Press: Shaping American Perceptions of Palestine in the First Decade of the Mandate’, The Biblical Archaeologist 59 (1996), 104–14.

T. W. Davis , Shifting Sands: The Rise and Fall of Biblical Archaeology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Johannes T. du Bruyn , ‘Die Tlhaping en die Eerste Sendelinge, 1801–1806’, South African Historical Journal 14 (1982), 8–34.

Elizabeth Eisenstein , The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe, 2nd edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

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Eldon Jay Epp , Perspectives on New Testament Textual Criticism: Collected Essays, 1962–2004, NovTSup 116 (Leiden: Brill, 2005).

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Gordon Fee , ‘Why Pentecostals Read their Bibles Poorly – and Some Suggested Cures’, Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association 24 (2004), 4–15.

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Robin Horton , ‘African Conversion’, Africa 41 (1971), 85–108.

Thomas Albert Howard , Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

M. Hunt , ‘The Prodigal Son’s Russian Roots: Avant-Garde and Icons’, Dance Chronicle 5:1 (1982), 24–49.

J. Izod , Hollywood and the Box Office, 1895–1986 (London: Macmillan, 1988).

David Jasper , The New Testament and the Literary Imagination (London: Macmillan, 1987).

Philip Jenkins , The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

Archie Chi Chung Lee , ‘Returning to China: Biblical Interpretation in Postcolonial Hong Kong’, Biblical Interpretation 7 (1999), 156–73.

Karsten Lehmkühler , Kultus und Theologie: Dogmatik und Exegese in der religionsgeschichtlichen Schule, Forschungen zur systematischen und ökumenischen Theologie (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996).

John Leighly , ‘Biblical Place-Names in the United States’, Names 27 (1979), 46–59.

Michael Lieb , Emma Mason , Jonathan Roberts and Christopher Rowland (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

H. Lindenberger , ‘Arnold Schoenberg’s Der biblische Weg and Moses und Aron: On the Transactions of Aesthetics and Politics’, Modern Judaism 9:1 (February 1989), 55–70.

R. P. Locke , ‘Constructing the Oriental “Other”: Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila’, Cambridge Opera Journal 3:3 (November 1991), 261–302.

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R. Maltby , ‘The King of Kings and the Czar of all the Rushes: The Propriety of the Christ Story’, Screen 31 (1990), 188–213.

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Gerd Mink , ‘Problems of a Highly Contaminated Tradition: The New Testament: Stemmata of Variants as a Source of a Genealogy for Witnesses’, in Pieter van Reenen , August den Hollander and Margot van Mulken (eds.), Studies in Stemmatology ii (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2004), pp. 13–85.

R. W. L. Moberly , The Bible, Theology, and Faith: A Study of Abraham and Jesus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

K. Móricz , ‘Sensuous Pagans and Righteous Jews: Changing Concepts of Jewish Identity in Ernest Bloch’s Jézabel and Schelomo’, Journal of the American Musicological Society 54:3 (Autumn 2001), 439–91.

Surekha Nelavala , ‘Smart Syrophoenician Woman: A Dalit Feminist Reading of Mark’, The Expository Times 118:2 (2006), 64–9.

D. Neville , ‘Opera or Oratorio?: Metastasio’s Sacred “Opere Serie”’, Early Music 26:4 (November 1998), 596–607.

David Paul Nord , Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

D. Norton , A History of the Bible as Literature, vol. ii: From 1700 to the Present Day (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

Makhosazana K. Nzimande , ‘Reconfiguring Jezebel: A Postcolonial Imbokodo Reading of the Story of Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21:1–16)’, in Hans de Wit and Gerald O. West (eds.), African and European Readers of the Bible in Dialogue: In Quest of a Shared Meaning (Leiden: Brill, 2008), pp. 223–58.

David C. Parker , An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

James Phelan and Peter Rabinowitz (eds.), A Companion to Narrative Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005).

John Poirier and B. Scott Lewis , ‘Pentecostal and Postmodernist Hermeneutics: A Critique of Three Conceits’, Journal of Pentecostal Theology 15:1 (October 2006), 3–21.

Hans Jurgen Prien , Christianity in Latin America (Leiden: Brill, 2012).

Jeremy Punt , ‘Why Not Postcolonial Biblical Criticism in (South) Africa: Stating the Obvious or Looking for the Impossible?’, Scriptura 91 (2006), 63–82.

Ricardo Quinones , The Changes of Cain (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).

Heikki Räisänen , ‘The “Effective History” of the Bible: A Challenge to Biblical Scholarship?’, Scottish Journal of Theology 45 (1992), 303–24.

A. Reinhartz , Jesus of Hollywood (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Adrienne Rich , ‘When we Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-vision’, College English 34:1 (1972), 18–30.

C. Rowland (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology, 2nd rev. edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

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John F. A. Sawyer (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Bible and Culture (Malden, MA, Oxford and Carlton, Victoria: Blackwell, 2006).

D. Schmidt , ‘“Es ist genug … ” B. A. Zimmermanns “Ekklesiastische Aktion”: Opus summum oder opus ultimum?’, Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 46:2 (1989), 121–54.

Joan Scott , ‘The Evidence of Experience’, Critical Inquiry 17 (1991), 773–97.

Ninian Smart et al. (eds.), Nineteenth Century Religious Thought in the West, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

George M. Soares-Prabhu , ‘Two Mission Commands: An Interpretation of Matthew 28:16–20 in the Light of a Buddhist Text’, Biblical Interpretation: A Journal of Contemporary Approaches 2:3 (1995), 264–82.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak , ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (eds.), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), pp. 271–313.

G. Stanley , ‘Religious Propriety Versus Artistic Truth: The Debate between Friedrich Rochlitz and Louis Spohr about the Representation of Christ in Des Heilands letzte Stunden’, Acta Musicologica 61:1 (Spring 1989), 66–82.

Philip C. Stine (ed.), Bible Translation and the Spread of the Church (Leiden: Brill, 1990).

R. S. Sugirtharajah , The Bible and Empire: Postcolonial Explorations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

R. S. Sugirtharajah , The Bible and the Third World: Precolonial, Colonial and Postcolonial Encounters, 3rd edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001 [1991]).

R. S. Sugirtharajah , The Postcolonial Biblical Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006).

Bengt Sundkler and Christopher Steed , A History of the Church in Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

R. J. Thompson , Moses and the Law in a Century of Criticism since Graf, SVT 10 (Leiden: Brill, 1970).

Léon Vaganay and Christian-Bernard Amphoux , An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism, 2nd edn.; English edn. amplified by Amphoux and Jenny Heimerdinger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991; French 1st edn. 1934, 2nd edn. 1986; English 1st edn. 1937), pp. 166–7.

R. Van Hoorickx , ‘Schubert and the Bible’, Musical Times 119:1629 (November 1978), 953–5.

J. R. Watson , ‘Ancient or Modern, Ancient and Modern: The Victorian Hymn and the Nineteenth Century’, Yearbook of English Studies 36:2 (2006), 1–16.

G. O. West , ‘Shifting Perspectives on the Comparative Paradigm in (South) African Biblical Scholarship’, Religion and Theology 12:1 (2005), 48–72.

Gerrard Winstanley , The Complete Works of Gerrard Winstanley, ed. T. N. Corns , A. Hughes and D. Loewenstein , 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Nicholas Wolterstorff , Divine Discourse: Philosophical Reflections on the Claim that God Speaks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

M. Wright , ‘Moses at the Movies: Ninety Years of the Bible and Film’, Modern Believing 37 (1996), 46–54.


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