The Bible in the Life of the Lutheran Communion. A Study Document on Lutheran Hermeneutics
The commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 provides the opportunity to highlight the special significance of the Bible for the vitality of the Church and the life of every Christian. This study document emphasizes that the heart of the Bible is its salvific message. The gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Rom 1:16). The whole Bible is to be interpreted in light of the message that brings life.
Today, the Bible is read in hugely diverse cultural, political, economic and religious contexts. Therefore the document engages with the question how Lutheran churches in such varied contexts can reach a shared and mutual understanding regarding their reading and interpretation of biblical texts. The study text emphasizes the importance of theological education in order to prepare pastors, teachers and leaders effectively to interpret Scripture.
The Lutheran churches’ focus on the Bible and its interpretation
2. What does sola scriptura mean?
Reading the Bible in light of the Lutheran Reformation
2.1. Luther’s understanding and exegesis of the Bible
2.2 Sola scriptura and the tradition of the Church
2.3 The paradox of understanding: revelation and interpretation
3. Challenges of interpreting the Bible today
3.1. Contextual interpretation of the Bible amidst the plurality of cultures
3.2 Ongoing translation
3.3. Historical-critical reading of the Word of God
3.4. The Bible as a book communicating experiences with the living God
3.5. The Church as a “space of resonance” of the Bible
3.6. The tension between the common and the particular
3.7. Methodological considerations: various hermeneutical spirals
4. Opportunities for reading and understanding the Bible in the twenty-first century
4.1. Common ground
4.2. Plurality of meaning
4.3. Global dialogues
4.4. Lutheran branding
The Bible in the life of the Lutheran Communion is available free here