The Enlightenment’s effect on Scripture interpretation (aka “modernism”):
- Scripture is subject to human reason.
- The universe is a closed system (“deism”). There are natural explanations for Jesus’ “miracles.”
- The Bible is not God’s divine Word, but a book like any other.
As a result:
- Theology (what is transcendent) should not be confused with historical investigation (what is immanent).
- The goal of science is to interpret objectively (without presuppositions). This was later rejected by postmodernism, which accepts that everyone has presuppositions.
- The Bible is not a source document in a historical investigation given its ideology.
How did the Pentateuch come together? Diachronic approaches emphasize the historical development of a text.
- Form criticism (aka the “fragmentary model”): many smaller units contributed to the whole.
- Traditions criticism (aka the “supplementary model”): one original base text that was subsequently expanded.
- Source criticism (aka the “documentary model”):
- Four independent documents (J, E, D, & P) are woven into one. You can see this is the case since the Pentateuch isn’t seamless. The redactor was sloppy.