The Death of Scripture

an intriguing article, but does not answer why the Bible does or should be seen as authoritative scripture

Lee Gatiss

LegaspiA review of Michael Legaspi’s The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies

Over the last few months, I’ve put up some reviews of various new academic books on biblical studies. Michael Legaspi would no doubt tell us that those sort of books are indicative of what he calls The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies.

This fascinating study, arising out of a PhD dissertation, focuses ostensibly on obscure German critic Johann David Michaelis (1717-1791), but tells the wider story of the changes in academic perspectives on the Bible over the last few centuries very well. Legaspi is concerned with the Bible’s loss of authority as “scripture” and how this led to the development of academic “biblical studies” as a new science: “textualization” he calls it. Unusually, he doesn’t link the demise of a “scriptural Bible” to the Enlightenment alone, but traces this back…

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