Zetterholm book

by aristeas 0 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • aristeas

    I've been a member of this forum for over 2 months now and it has been a real experience. There seems to be a large number of ex-JW atheists or deists here. While lacking faith, these people appear to have a variety of views that may perhaps be classified as more 'objective' than others with a believer's perspective (still in the WT fold but secretly looking around, having left it but still believe in God, or who have left but joined some other group). Possibly the former group then is more attuned to the view of critical biblical scholars who give more credence to facts of history than the thoughts of ancient or modern people of faith. Therefore, the following comments may appeal more to the first group, but I encourage those who still have faith to consider the following observations too and try to be as objective as possible.

    I've been reading a book about the apostle Paul by Swedish biblical (and admittedly secular) scholar Magnus Zetterholm. The book, Approaches to Paul, is apparently a textbook for students in a college course on Pauline studies, but it is written in such a way that the average intelligent non-expert can follow along. It attempts to break down and explain the currents in the last 40 or so years of scholarly study of Paul. At the beginning Zetterholm gives a history of Paul's life as modern critical scholars can reconstruct it (meaning a non-acceptance of just taking as fact what the biblical texts say).

    Two statements caught my attention enough to share them here. First, on p. 13 in speaking of the book of Acts, Zetterholm states: 'In Acts, the historiography is totally subordinate to the theological message'. Now to those who have experienced what most have here, DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR??

    Consider the second quotation: 'The fact that Paul was nurtured in an environment that saw new interpretations of the biblical texts as the natural part of the divine revelation is an important aspect when trying to understand his way of reasoning' (16).

    Again does this strike a chord with you?

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