Scriptural Authority and Biblical Criticism in the Dutch Golden Age: God's Word Questioned

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Oxford University Press, Oct 6, 2017 - Religion - 432 pages
Scriptural Authority and Biblical Criticism in the Dutch Golden Age explores the hypothesis that in the long seventeenth century humanist-inspired biblical criticism contributed significantly to the decline of ecclesiastical truth claims. Historiography pictures this era as one in which the dominant position of religion and church began to show signs of erosion under the influence of vehement debates on the sacrosanct status of the Bible. Until quite recently, this gradual but decisive shift has been attributed to the rise of the sciences, in particular astronomy and physics. This authoritative volume looks at biblical criticism as an innovative force and as the outcome of developments in philology that had started much earlier than scientific experimentalism or the New Philosophy. Scholars began to situate the Bible in its historical context. The contributors show that even in the hands of pious, orthodox scholars philological research not only failed to solve all the textual problems that had surfaced, but even brought to light countless new incongruities. This supplied those who sought to play down the authority of the Bible with ammunition. The conviction that God's Word had been preserved as a pure and sacred source gave way to an awareness of a complicated transmission in a plurality of divergent, ambiguous, historically determined, and heavily corrupted texts. This shift took place primarily in the Dutch Protestant world of the seventeenth century.


List of Illustrations
Editors Introduction
The Johannine Comma from Erasmus to Westminster
The Velesian Readings of the Greek
André Rivet between
Authority Truth and the Text of
Menasseh ben Israel Biblical
Some Heretical Thoughts
Innovative Exegesis by Remonstrant Mennonite
Pierre Bayle and Biblical Criticism
Bayle the Bible and the Remonstrant Tradition at the Time
Anthonie van Dale on Biblical History
Biblical Criticism Knowledge and the First Commandment
The Northern War and King
Johann Scheuchzer and His Followers

How Did Spinoza Declare War on Theology
Index Locorum Biblicorum

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About the author (2017)

Dirk van Miert is Assistant Professor of Early Modern Cultural History at the University of Utrecht. Henk Nellen is Senior Research Member at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences at Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, and Emeritus Professor of the History of Ideas of Early-Modern Times in the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam. Piet Steenbakkers is Senior Lecturer of the History of Modern Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Utrecht, and Emeritus Professor of Spinoza Studies at the Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam. Jetze Touber is Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literature, and Communication at the University of Utrecht.

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