Editor’s Reflections -- By: William David Spencer

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 24:3 (Summer 2010)
Article: Editor’s Reflections
Author: William David Spencer

Editor’s Reflections

William David Spencer

DISCLAIMER: Final selection of all material published by CBE in Priscilla Papers is entirely up to the discretion of the editor, consulting theologians, and CBE’s executive. Please note that each author is solely legally responsible for the content and the accuracy of facts, citations, references, and quotations rendered and properly attributed in the article appearing under his or her name. Neither Christians for Biblical Equality, nor the editor, nor the editorial team is responsible or legally liable for any content or any statements made by any author, but the legal responsibility is solely that author’s once an article appears in print in Priscilla Papers.

Many decades ago, while I was still a young and brash student, I happened to read about a book being assembled analyzing a variety of interpretive approaches to literature. With all the gall of a neophyte, I contacted the editors, pointed out they were missing a chapter on “Christian interpretation,” suggested I could supply that need, and they agreed (with great reluctance) to let me submit an idea for it. I took the Christological approach (an emphasis on identifying Christ-types), ladled in some exegetical method, peppered it with what I thought would be centrist Christian doctrinally dogmatic elements, and sailed it out onto their waters. It subsequently sank. Obviously unimpressed, they sent me back a form letter thanking me so much for my efforts and essentially telling me to get lost.

I did, but the idea did not. I shipped it to a back tier of that boatyard in the back alley of our minds where such ideas get their decks cleared, their hulls hammered, their sails trimmed by the subconscious, and reappear eventually to race again, in a new re-customized form in our more cautious mature years.

In this case, it was trucked out to the dock of my consciousness by a persistently growing suggestion that I rethink the old idea as I try to figure out how best to serve our movement as I edit our journal. The idea refurbished was that, if egalitarian scholarship is ever going to mature as a discipline, it will have to develop its own consistent interpretive approach to issues in a far more intentional way than simply agreeing to critique texts from the basis of equality. That, certainly, is the starting point, but where do we go from there?

Biblical studies, for example, has been critiqued through numerous lenses. In no special order, it has been form criticized, history of religioned, sociologized, quested within for the historical Jesus, structuralized, deconstructed, reader responded, new perspectived, liberated (including feminized, Latinized, African Americanized, Male Angloized, and, to a lesser extent, Native Americ...

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