Knut Backhaus

Aufgegeben? Historische Kritik als Kapitulation und Kapital von Theologie

Jahrgang 114 () / Heft 3, S. 260-288 (29)

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Exegesis seems to be irrelevant today. Its method, i.e., historical criticism, is thought to be un- or anti-theological. This method bypasses the question of truth and misses the purpose of reading the Bible. It also appears to be both obsolete in its scholarly profile and existentially sterile. However, the strengths of its sobriety are often overlooked: historical criticism does not establish certitude but clarifies the foundations of certitude. It protects theology against inherent ideological hazards, demarcates perspectives, and renders theology culturally compatible. Since Christianity considers historical experience to be a locus of revelation, historical criticism is intrinsically theological. This paper argues in favour of a »transversal exegesis« that crosses conventional boundaries: it follows a more consistently historical agenda; it more adroitly explores the dynamics of Bible reading in past and present; and it overcomes the exegetes' isolation from the holistic process of theology.

Knut Backhaus Geboren 1960; 1989 Promotion; 1994 Habilitation; 1994–2003 Ordinarius für Neues Testament an der Theologischen Fakultät Paderborn; seit 2003 Lehrstuhlinhaber für Neutestamentliche Exegese und biblische Hermeneutik an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.