Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Word and supplement : reconstructing the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture
Author: Ward, T.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
The body of the thesis begins with an analytical overview of the history of the doctrine's development and decline, focusing on its full articulation in the Protestant Reformation and in post-Reformation Protestant scholasticism (chapter 2). Theologians of the latter type, particularly Francis Turretin, are defended against the charge that they departed significantly from the Reformation understanding of Scripture. This analysis describes three elements of the sufficiency of Scripture, each of which is reconstructed in turn in the three subsequent chapters. Chapter 3 deals with the theological claim that God Speaks, and that Scripture is a medium of his speech. A notion of what it is to speak based on speech act theory and especially on Wolterstorff's application of it to divine speech is adopted, and used to inform a reading of Karl Barth's conception of God as speaker, in order to assess his rejection of fundamental aspects of the classical Protestant doctrine of Scripture. The identification of Scripture with the Word of God, acknowledging Barth's concerns, is defended. Chapter 4 takes up the material aspect of the sufficiency of Scripture: Scripture contains everything necessary to be known for salvation. Various construals of textual ontology are discussed: the hermeneutical models of 'textual self-sufficiency' offered in literary theory by New Criticism and in theology by Hans Frei; the opposing construals of authorship developed by E.D. Hirsch and deconstruction, especially as the latter is exemplified in the work of the NT scholar Stephen Moore; the reader-oriented hermeneutics of Stanley Fish and Stanley Hauerwas. A conception of Scripture as 'sufficient', in relation to an ethical construal of authorship and a description of the action of the Holy Spirit, is developed. Chapter 5 takes up the formal aspect of sufficiency: Scripture is sufficient for its own interpretation. The theories of intertextuality of Julia Kristeva and Roland Barthes are examined, and philosophical resources are found in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin on language and Paul Ricoeur on Scripture, exemplified in the NT exegesis of Richard Hays, to outline a conception of 'biblical polyphony'. The canonical hermeneutics of B.S. Childs is examined, and supplemented hermeneutically via a recent suggestion of E.D. Hirsch on authorial intentionality, and theologically with a defence of the orthodox Protestant doctrine of biblical inspiration, as articulated by B.B. Warfield. A conception of the canon of Scripture as 'sufficient' is offered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available