the weblog of Alan Knox

Wright on Presuppositions

Posted by on Feb 1, 2010 in biblical theology | Comments Off

We have seen that the study of the New Testament involves three disciplines in particular: literature, history and theology. They are, as it were, among the armies that use the New Testament as a battleground. Many of the debates which have occupied scholars as they have crossed the terrain of gospels and epistles have not been so much the detailed exegesis of this or that passage, but the larger issues as to which view of history, or of theology, they will take, and which pieces of territory they can then annex with a claim of justified allegiance. It is there inevitable – though some will perhaps feel it regrettable – that we must spend some time at this stage seeing what these large issues look like, and getting some idea as to what the options are between them. Until we do this, study of Jesus, Paul and the gospels will remain largely the projection of an undiscussed metaphysic: if we do not explore presuppositional matters, we can expect endless and fruitless debate. (N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), p. 31)