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Beyond the BibleDevelopment in doctrine and practice

This book provides a rationale for the idea that, as John Robinson said to the departing Pilgrims, 'God has yet more truth and light to break forth from his holy Word.' It is Beyond The Bible: Moving From Scripture To Theology by I. Howard Marshall (Paternoster, 2004. ISBN 1-84227-278-0), with responding essays by Vanhoozer and Porter.

It shows how truth is adapted and developed from OT to NT, from the Gospels to the Epistles—and suggests that, without in any way downgrading the fixed text of Scripture, that process needs to continue as we in later generations apply God's Word to new situations. Marshall looks for what he calls 'a principled way' of developing doctrine and practice, finding guidelines in Scripture itself to steer us on a right course. This book is a key one in the current lively evangelical debate on hermeneutics and how we should apply the Bible today.

1 Peter 1:10-12 suggests that writers may have written texts that contained more than they themselves could understand because the reference of prophecy was not always clear to them. (p30)

The church believes that its faith and practice rest upon that collection of books and that no others can have that function. Yet the closing of the canon did not bring the process of doctrinal development to an end. (p54)

The teaching of Jesus belongs to the liminal period; it is given before the new covenant has been fully inaugurated and uses the imagery of the time. It is legitimate to recognise this and to go beyond it in the directions indicated by the post-Easter revelation. (p68)

What we have at work in the NT…is a combination of the apostolic deposit and Spirit-given insight. These two factors work together to detect error and to promote true development in Christian doctrine and practice. (p71)

We affirm the ongoing supreme authority of Scripture, but we recognise that Scripture needs interpretation and fresh application, both in our doctrine and in our practice. (p77)

[By KJ Vanhoozer] Doctrine directs the church to speak and act in new situations (e.g. 'beyond the Bible') biblically by cultivating what I will call 'the mind of the canon.' That to which theologians must attend in Scripture is not the words and concepts so much at the patterns of judgment. (p93)

[By SE Porter] A model that has not been as widely used or influential in hermeneutical circles as I think it should be is the process of Bible translation known as dynamic equivalence (or functional equivalence)… My contention is that this is the task not only of translation, but also of theology itself. (p125)

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