The Living Bible by Thomas Banks

The Living Bible

Five Things Theologians Wish Biblical Scholars Knew by Hans Boersma

The relationship between theologians and the textual critics and historians who labor alongside them is one which may be unclear to the layman, and not perfectly understood even by the relevant parties within our colleges and seminaries. This book and its companion volume by Dr. Scot -McKnight serve to define the respective functions of both types of expert and the purposes they bring to their several tasks, in the hope that each may better comprehend the other.

Dr. Boersma, in his introduction, presents a helpful summary of the causes that have often led to confusions and estrangements between the theologian, whose province of expertise is generally understood to be the speculative study of revealed doctrine, and the biblical critic, traditionally concerned with the body of the biblical text itself, and the historical context in which it was composed. Their duties and pursuits are intimately related without being identical, a circumstance that naturally encourages mutual rivalries and misunderstandings: When Greeks join'd Greeks, then was the tug of war. For the non-expert, a class which includes this reviewer, this short work is a convenient introduction to a practicing theologian's attitude toward his own field of study, once the Regina Scientiarum and, for a long time, now reduced to the status of a monarch in exile.


Thomas Banks lives in North Carolina and teaches online at the House of Humane Letters. His poems, translations, and essays have appeared in First Things, The New English Review, Quadrant, The Imaginative Conservative, Crisis Magazine, The St. Austin Review, and other publications.

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