Chapter

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394351.003.0001

Series: HIST THEOLOGY

From Scripture to Text

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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

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