The Three Paradigms of Biblical Studies Essay

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The academic study of the Hebrew Bible encompasses thousands of scholars from around the world. These scholars use various methods developed by other disciplines in order to study ancient texts along with other approaches that are distinctive to the biblical studies.

Biblical scholars have recently divided the profession into three paradigms which are commonly referred to as the three worlds. Particularly, some scholars focus on the world within the text; others explore the world in front of the text; and others focus on the world behind the text.

Firstly, scholars who look at the world behind the text are concerned with understanding the world in which the Bible arose. Particularly, scholars specializing in this field seek to …show more content…

The Hebrew Bible was written to be read as a coherent literary work, that the majority of the literature within the Hebrew Bible was preserved because the culture that it was important. Through this notion, some scholars believe that it is possible to conclude a specific meaning that the author intended when writing the narrative. While others may conclude that it would be extremely difficult to determine the meaning as numerous individuals have edited the works of the Hebrew Bible and the intended meaning could have been lost in its revisions. Nevertheless, scholars in this paradigm categorize a narrative based on the methods of contemporary literature by examining the plot, characters, and any symbolism used through the author’s perspective. This allows the scholar to investigate how the narrative appeals to reader and the historical circumstances of the intended audience. Furthermore, scholars analyze similar pieces of literature to better understand the various trends that may have occurred within other cultures.
Until recently, scholars have paid little attention to the role of the reader during the interpretive process of the Hebrew Bible as an individual biblical narrative may produce numerous interpretations depending on the individual. As a result, scholars who study the role of a reader use numerous methods. Particularly, some scholars may choose to understand how socio-economic

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