CHINESE CHRISTIANS AND THEIR BIBLE KWOK PUI-LAN Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA Professor Antoinette Wire's article provides rich information on interpretation of the Bible in China since 1949, using primary sources written by Chinese Christians seldom known in the western world. My response will focus on how to interpret the sermons, bib- lical reflections, and theological writings by Chinese Christians who live in a world drastically different from many of us. It will highlight three points: (1) the Church as the interpretative context, (2) orality and textuality in biblical interpretation, and (3) implications for western biblical scholarship. The Church as the Interpretative Context During my several visits to the churches and seminaries in China, I was repeatedly told that the primary task of theology is to serve the immense pastoral needs of local churches. Unlike in the West, where the academy has assumed a vigorous scholarship of the Bible in- dependent of the Church, biblical scholarship in China has been used to strengthen Christians and the Church. Wire points out that the majority of Christians in China have a strong evangelistic faith with a literal understanding of the Bible. Even though the historical-critical method had been introduced to
Biblical Interpretation – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1996
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