Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, Theological Studies PhD

First Advisor

John Peckham

Second Advisor

Ante Jerončić

Third Advisor

Boubakar Sanou


In this study I address contemporary theological interpretation of Scripture with a particular focus on the portrayal of the virtuous reader who interprets Scripture in a posture of faith and within an interpretive ecclesial context. Through a comparative analysis of the proposals for theological interpretation of Ephraim Radner and Richard B. Hays, I identify shared as well as differing emphases. I begin by providing an overview of Radner and Hays’s perspectives regarding the reader’s interpretive virtue, along with relevant underlying assumptions about Scripture and scriptural interpretive strategies. I also outline their respective visions of the interpretive ecclesial context, which serves as nurturing ground for said virtuous reader. Subsequently, I offer an evaluation of their expectations for the virtuous reader in relation to one another. This evaluation considers elements related to the internal consistency of their proposals, the norms or sources of authority they assert, and other factors contributing to the differences or similarities they exhibit. Most notably, I suggest that while both portray a virtuous reader who approaches Scripture in a posture of faith, and within an interpretive ecclesial context, Radner highlights interpretive virtue as humble receptivity while Hays highlights poetic attentiveness. While I note that this divergence is a matter of emphasis rather than being a matter of mutual exclusion, I do claim that the distinct emphases relative to interpretive virtue raise a series of important questions for the field. These questions serve as constructive critiques, prompting us to consider which virtuous reader should be highlighted, along with any relevant accompanying interpretive practices and assumptions.

Then, I consider the emphases on the respective interpretive virtues of humble receptivity and poetic attentiveness from an explicitly contextual perspective, specifically from my social location as a Latina theological interpreter and often relying on Latina Evangélica proponents who pay particular attention to everyday Latina women in their social location of marginality. In this framework, social location serves as a theological tool, assuming a reader who approaches Scripture with a posture of faith and within an interpretive ecclesial context. However, the social location of marginality introduces dimensions that both enhance and ameliorate aspects of the interpretive virtues under discussion, thereby introducing further inquiries into the field. From the perspective of marginality, questions arise as to how the interpretive virtue of humble receptivity could be qualified, suggesting that a humbly receptive reader should complement such posture with a posture of astute discernment directed towards undue priority being given to a particular ecclesial context and against any vicious interpretations existing within it (without directing any critique towards Scripture). Questions also arise as to how the interpretive virtue of poetic attentiveness could be expanded, suggesting that a poetically attentive reader should attend to marginal voices and elements often unnoticed by others while still upholding a faithful stance towards Scripture. The study does not so much encourage the reader to choose one approach over the other but rather to see that different voices can enrich one another, though one should always give priority to Scripture as uniquely normative relative to every context. The findings overall underscore the importance of incorporating voices from the margins in shaping the landscape of the theological interpretation of Scripture field, particularly regarding interpretive virtue.

Subject Area

Bible--Criticism, interpretation, etc.; Bible--Theology; Radner, Ephraim, 1955- ; Hays, Richard B.

Available for download on Saturday, February 14, 2026