Date of Award

1994

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Theological Studies PhD

First Advisor

Fernando L. Canale

Second Advisor

Raoul Dederen

Third Advisor

Norman K. Miles

Abstract

Scripture has played an authoritative role in Christian theology for centuries and has been at the heart of Protestant theology from its beginning. The rise of modern historical criticism, however, has led to a crisis at this very foundation of Protestant theology. In this context this dissertation seeks to set forth, analyze, compare, and evaluate theconcept of Scripture in the theologies of two contemporary Protestant systematic theologians who represent significantly different concepts of Scripture: Wolfhart Pannenberg and Donald G. Bloesch.

Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction, delineates the objectives, research methodology, and delimitations of the study. This is followed in chapter 2, by an issue-oriented overview of the concepts of Scripture in theology, that have surfaced from the time of the Protestant Reformation onward. This oveview describes the positions of important theological representatives who significantly influenced the concept of Scripture in church history up to the present time.

Chapter 3 focuses on Wolfgang Pannenberg's concept of Scripture by first describing his understanding of Scripture's origin, nature, and use; then the second part of this chapter analyzes the theological and anthropological presuppositions which have influenced Pannenberg's concept of Scripture. Chapter 4 treats Donald G. Bloesch's view of Scripture, following the same pattern as in chapter 3.

Chapter 5 compares the positions of Pannenberg and Bloesch, evaluating them on the basis of internal consistency. The assumptions and presuppositions upon which the respective positions seem to rest are also taken into consideration. It appears that despite the fundamentally different starting points and other significant differences, Pannenberg and Bloesch nevertheless reveal a number of surprising similarities in their views of Scripture. This would seem to suggest that for both theologians the concept of Scripture is determined ultimately by presuppositions that are derived and shaped extra scripturam.

Subject Area

Bible -- Evidences, authority, etc, Pannenberg, Wolfhart, 1928-2014 -- Views on the Bible, Bloesch, Donald G., 1928-2010 -- Views on the Bible

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