Innocent Until Proven Guilty

“If we are to use the American system of jurisprudence, the claims of the text must be held to be innocent until proven guilty by evidences to the contrary. Unfortunately, the reverse system seems to be in vogue in scholarship at the present moment: the text is guilty by virtue of its divine claims, miracles and talk about God. The scholar is judged. in this case, to be innocent of any false motives, but the text is impugned as full of all sorts of impossibilities due to its very nature of claiming to be from God himself. In an indictment of this so-called objectivity, the judgment of history has caught up with that bit of Enlightenment hubris and has exposed such claimants to objectivity as a plurality of subjective relativizers. And the rest, as they say, is now history.” Walter Kaiser, The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2001) 27-28.

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