From Scripture to Text

Michael C. Legaspi

in The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195394351
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777211 | DOI:


From Scripture to Text

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that the Bible in the West ceased to function as catholic scripture in the period following the Reformation and that, as a result, biblical scholars like Louis Cappel and Brian Walton turned increasingly toward the Bible as a text to rehabilitate it. Schisms, religious wars, and the manifold effects of confessionalization created a fragmented religious environment that yielded modes of scholarship aimed at exploiting, reinforcing, or repairing this fragmentation. Yet these efforts all assumed an inert textual Bible that needed to be reactivated and reintegrated into specific cultural and religious programs. Beginning with figues like Erasmus, biblical scholarship of the early modern period operated on a Bible that was moving from ‘scripture’ to ‘text.’ The textualization of the Bible and the decline of its cultural and religious authority prepared the way for a new mode of academic criticism based on the unifying power of the state.

Keywords: Bible; reformation; Cappel; textualization; Erasmus; biblical scholarship

Chapter.  11374 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.