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Ways of Interpreting Scripture

4. Modern Interpretations

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About this Lecture


In this module, we look at modern approaches to scripture, focusing in particular on (i) modern interpretations resting on a historical view of scriptural texts, and this historical reading elucidating a view that the world of the Gospels is different from our own (ii) the concern from some theologians that the historical approach excludes the divine and the revelatory (iii) the difficulties in ascertaining an objective view of the historical Jesus (iv) a sociological/anthropological reading of scripture (v) a literary approach to interpreting scripture (vi) the literary approach as a reaction to the historical approach (vi) the speculative and subjective elements of various ways of interpreting scripture, and importance of a variety of interpretations.


In this course, Dr James Carleton Paget (University of Cambridge) explores a variety of ways of interpreting scripture and a brief history of biblical exegesis. In the first module, we introduce the foundations underpinning the notion of scripture as inspired; both from the text itself and Ancient Jewish thinkers from Alexandria. In the second module, we examine changing attitudes to scripture from the Enlightenment, and growing interests in historical and critical study of the Bible. In the third module, we come to look at Friedrich Schleiermacher and David Friedrich Strauss’ contributions to biblical criticism, before turning our attention to a range of modern interpretations of scripture in the fourth module. In the fifth and final module, we focus on the significance of Karl Barth’s contributions to the study of scripture, and the challenges which he presents to modernity.


James Carleton Paget is a lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Cambridge. His research interests are research interests in Jewish-Christian relations in antiquity, ancient Jewish Christianity, inter-testamental Judaism and the history of ancient biblical interpretation. His publications include Jews, Christians and Jewish Christians in Antiquity (2010) and The Epistle of Barnabas: Outlook and Background (1994)

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Carleton Paget, J. (2022, September 27). Ways of Interpreting Scripture - Modern Interpretations [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Carleton Paget, J. "Ways of Interpreting Scripture – Modern Interpretations." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Sep 2022,