chapter  11
15 Pages

How to Read New Testament Scholarship New Testament Scholarship and the ‘Great Man’

One notable impact of reception history is that it might start to blur the intellectual boundaries between Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and New Testament because the area of historical and cultural specialism is no longer rooted in the original audiences of the different texts. Of course, this already assumes a context where Christian culture has been dominant and no doubt many Jewish scholars will be more interested in the reception of the Hebrew Bible, though we have already seen ways in which issues relating to the reception of the New Testament or New Testament texts might also be of interest. Furthermore, there is nothing stopping the scholar studying the reception of the New Testament as New Testament in distinction from the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. However, in this chapter, and keeping in line with the subject matter of this book, the New Testament will be the primary focus. There is further reason to look more specifically at the New Testament and one that brings us to another important contribution made by reception history: reception history can help us understand the often unchecked cultural assumptions of New Testament scholars who may well be unintentionally repeating a variety of theological and cultural views which have come before them. Returning to his analysis of reception history discussed earlier in the previous chapter, W. John Lyons stresses that the modern study of the Bible has always been dominated by audiences and this includes contemporary historical critical scholarship.1 It is to the reception of the New Testament in contemporary scholarship we now turn.