CUP Undergraduate Research


The Narrative Movement: Rethinking Biblical Exegesis

Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2012

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

Theology, BA

First Advisor

Prof. Phillip L. Brandt PhD


Following the Enlightenment there has been a shift in the way exegetes approach the text of the Bible. It became a book to be researched and solved just as any other ancient work would be studied. The Bible began to make its way into the Universities where the historical-critical approach took precedence over the styles and practices seen in the Church for hundreds of years. Faith is not seen as a burden to the interpretive process as one seeks to find the historical truth in the text. Questions of faith were replaced with questions of the historical and literary genre. It was no longer about what it meant to Christians but what it meant to the original audience.

However, there is a movement which has started that seeks to reclaim the Bible for the Church. This movement has been dubbed the Narrative Movement. The proponents of this movement seek to restore the exegetical practices of the Church within a modern age. This begins by understanding the Bible as an overarching narrative which is held together and hinges on the revelation of Christ. For this reason they assert that only Christians are able to interpret the Bible in a way which is edifying to the Church. Looking back to the past, those in the Narrative Movement seek to restore the practice of allegory to the Bible. Finally, and most importantly, they seek to return faith the interpretive process. Four commentators from the patristic age, reformation, modernity, and the Narrative Movement are analyzed in order to determine whether or not the claims of the Narrative Movement result in a fundamentally different interpretation than that of the modernist, historical-critical approach.

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