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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How historical-critical method of interpretation of the New Testament can enrich our understanding of the Apostle's Creed.

For many the new testament telling of the story of Jesus is joyfully accepted as it is written. It is enriched by the inclusion of allegorical embellishments, spiritual warfare, and divine intervention. There is, however, a
school of thought that touts an analytical approach to the gospels. This technique is called the “historical-critical-method.”

The use of historical criticism in conjunction with the Creed serves to illuminate and give it a depth that it might not have otherwise. “Historical Jesus,” while simplified compared to the gospels as a whole, is considerably more detailed than the accounts of Jesus in the Creed. While the Creed goes to great lengths to espouse the divinity and spirituality of Christ, it does not however, say much about the actuality of Christ’s physical being on Earth (as it is accepted by Historians). The very title of “Apostle's Creed” is given credence by this method due to the historical plausibility of the disciples (apostles) He gathered around him through his teaching. Another positive aspect of the historical-critical method is that it stands to illuminate the world in which the bible took place. Contextually, we serve to learn much about the living world that Jesus and his disciples were a part of; politically, economically, and socially. Without the context that this method provides it would be difficult to ascertain the realism that is present in the gospels. For those on the outside looking in, it takes themes from the Bible from the realm of story telling to that of historical fact.

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