Volume 2

Volume 2

Articles and Explorations

Does James Have a Theology?

William Varner |

The great German scholar Martin Dibelius bluntly declared that the Epistle of James “has no theology.” James Dunn called the letter “the least Christian writing of the NT.” If readers desire to find in James a theology expressed solely in the familiar categories of systematic theology, then they will be disappointed. Such definitions of theology, however, are simply too narrow and anachronistic in their expectations. If we expand our definition of the term theology to include biblical teaching that is firmly grounded in an understanding of God and his saving purposes, then James is most certainly and undoubtedly “theological.” While recognizing that James’ theology is sometimes more implicit than explicit, there are still a number of distinct theological emphases that emerge in the book.

Gadamer and Biblical Studies: Retrospect and Prospect

David J. Fuller |

Hans-Georg Gadamer has been one of the most influential thinkers in the history of philosophical hermeneutics. His concepts of effective historical consciousness, the fusion of horizons, and the positive functions of pre-understanding and prejudice have been gratefully received by biblical scholars and theologians alike. This article surveys the usage of Gadamer in biblical studies in order to understand general trends and reflect on future possibilities. The relevant sources are organized into three categories: (1) the direct use of Gadamer for exegesis; (2) the use of Gadamer in abstract reflections on the hermeneutical endeavor; and (3) employment of Gadamer in the subdiscipline of reception history.

Book Reviews