Biblical Interpretation by Edwin Cyril Blackman

Edwin Cyril Blackman, Biblical Interpretation. The Old Difficulties and the New OpportunityThis book on biblical interpretation deals with the issue of biblical authority and surveys the history of biblical interpretation. According to the blurb on the dustjacket the author “…shows the Bible is still the Word of God for mankind, and the work of the scholars enables it to be more easily understood and proclaimed by this generation”. Edwin Cyril Blackman is perhaps best known for his classic work Marcion and His Influence (SPCK, 1948).

This book is still in copyright. Permission to reproduce it on-line has been granted by E.C. Blackman’s family and the United Reformed Church. It can be used for educational purposes, but not sold for profit without permission from the copyright holders.

Edwin Cyril Blackman, Biblical Interpretation. The Old Difficulties and the New Opportunity. London: Independent Press Ltd., 1957. Hbk. pp.212. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  • Preface
    1. Introductory
    2. The Question of Authority
    3. The Development of Exegesis
    4. Modern Criticism
    5. The Present Task in Biblical Interpretation
  • Index

Preface

The aim of this book is to serve ‘the cause of true exposition. The three longer chapters IV-VI are more obviously related to that purpose than the others. Chapter IV is historical, and tries to give an impression of how Christian teachers and preachers through nineteen centuries have in fact expounded the Bible. Chapter VI is intended to be a climax in that it ventures to lay down canons of exegesis for the preacher today. It seemed advisable to preface these larger chapters with some discussion of issues about which it is essential for the preacher to have a right judgment: the significance of the Bible as Revelation, the authority of the Bible in the setting of the general problem of moral and spiritual authority, and the function and limits of historical criticism as applied to the Bible….

For more resources on biblical hermeneutics click here.

Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society now online

I was asked last year by Professor John Briggs, Chairman of the Baptist Historical Society, if I could assist them by digitising and hosting the Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society (1908-1921) and the Baptist Quarterly (1922-present). I quickly learned – through my contacts at the Baptist training colleges – that the Transactions represent a unique historical record valuable not just to Baptists, but to church historians, theologians and missiologists across the denominations. These old volumes are currently on restricted access in those few colleges that have paper copies.

The Baptist Quarterly will take me most of this year to complete, but the Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society are now available on-line. To further assist colleges I have provided a link at the top of the page to a compressed archive that contains all the PDF files and a separate table of contents (total file size around 65MB). These can be placed on College servers at no charge as the entire collection is now Public Domain.

Andrew C. Clark on Apostleship: Evidence From the New Testament and Early Christian Literature

The following article is now available on-line in PDF:

Andrew C. Clark, “Apostleship: Evidence From the New Testament and Early Christian Literature,” Vox Evangelica 19 (1989): 49-82.

An interesting an wide-ranging study of what it the term “apostle” meant in the early church. The summary reads:

W Bauer comments that in early Christian literature generally, ‘the number twelve stands so fast that exceedingly often twelve disciples are spoken of where actually only eleven can be meant eg Gospel of Peter 5:9; Ascension of Isaiah 3:17; 4:3; 11:29; Kerygma Petrou’. Much is said in the apocryphal Acts and Epistles of the various views and activities of the apostles after the ascension, especially of their missionary work throughout the world. Paul is not deliberately excluded from the number, but ‘it was only when Marcion and later Jewish Christianity began to play Paul against the earliest apostles that thought was given to the circle of apostles, and the Early Catholic Church maintained that “the twelve and Paul” qualified as apostles’. As regards the apostolic writings, it was probably the rise of Montanus, who advocated ‘the new prophecy’, that is the continuing revelation of the Holy Spirit as in apostolic times, that raised the hermeneutical question of the status of apostolic and post-apostolic writings respectively. Gerald Bray comments that ‘Tertullian is the first Christian writer to regard the apostolic age as definitely over, and to quote the writings of the apostles on a par with the Old Testament Scriptures as a matter of course’. He points out, however, that ‘the fact that he could do this without argument shows that the apostolic writings must have been regarded as Scripture even before his time’.