Relevance Theory and Biblical Interpretation with John Hilber
Christians talk a lot about interpreting the Bible in context, but that goal is fraught with difficulties, some which are preventable, and others that are self-imposed. One of the most obvious obstacles is the disconnection between the worldview of the biblical writers and their original audience and modern Bible students. Despite the transparency of this problem, no textbooks on biblical hermeneutics focus on the problem and how it might be solved. In this episode of the podcast, we chat with Dr. John Hilber about the obstacle and its solution, both of which received sustained attention in his new book, Old Testament Cosmology and Divine Accommodation: A Relevance Theory Approach (Wipf and Stock, 2020).
Listeners can get Dr. Hilber’s book for 40% off only by going to the Wipf and Stock website and applying the coupon code DIVINE at checkout. **Offer valid November 1st-30th, 2020**
The story of Jonah being swallowed by a “great fish” (misunderstood as a whale) is familiar to Bible readers and those in the wider culture who have never read the Bible. Given the flexibility of the Hebrew phrase behind “great fish” (dag gadol), scholars have wondered whether Jonah connects back to biblical Leviathan, the well-know chaos serpent of Canaanite literature. In this episode we explore the potential connections.
It’s common for scholars and critics of New Testament presentations of the birth of Jesus to suggest that the idea of a divine Israelite messiah goes beyond what the Old Testament envisions. The most Jews would expect, so this thinking goes, is a military deliverer who was descended from the line of David, a mere human whom God adopts as his son. This episode provides a glimpse into the data that tell us otherwise. In Luke 1, the gospel writer portrays Jesus as more than a human, Davidic military deliverer.