Gospel Narratives, Miracles, and the ‘Critical’ Reader: The Eclipse of the Supernatural

Jonathan C. P. Birch

Abstract


The European Enlightenment and the nineteenth century were formative periods for modern biblical criticism, and are rightly associated with the rise of sceptical perspectives on the supernatural dimension of the Bible. This article argues for the persistence of pre-critical, theologically conditioned assumptions in the hermeneutical procedures of two influential writers on the subject of miracles in the Gospels: Thomas Woolston and David Friedrich Strauss. Their work helped to revive a theological tradition of non-realistic interpretation of biblical narrative which runs from Origen of Alexandria to Rudolf Bultmann and beyond.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/rsrr5-1-668