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Book Review on ONE BIBLE MANY VOICES by S. E. Gillinham - Essay Example

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Book Review on ONE BIBLE MANY VOICES by S. E. Gillinham

113). Throughout this volume, Gillingham adopts an academic and postmodern approach to studying the Bible, examining its formation, interpretation and overall character. Although the vast majority of authors deal with either the Old Testament of the New, Gillingham deals with the scripture in its entirety (Traina, Bauer & Peterson 2011, p. 124). On the other hand, while other authors deal with either the interpretation or formation of the Bible, Gillingham takes on both of these topics. The aim of this paper is to provide a succinct analysis of Gillingham’s book, One Bible many voices, discovering its essence and inherent message. Gillingham’s volume integrates noteworthy elements of knowledge she acquired while undertaking a long-distance module at St. John’s College, as well as elements she learnt in a theology course at the Oxford University’s undergraduate program. According to Gillingham (1999, p. xv) the book is targeted at adults with a fairly deep interest in biblical studies or theology. From the onset, Gillingham postulates that the core of the modern day is postmodernism comingled with pluralism. She believes that such comingling should also be adopted in the study of the Bible (Gillingham 1999, pp. 4-5). In essence, she attempts to demonstrate the application of pluralism, as a prominent element of postmodernism, is useful in biblical studies. One Bible many voices consists of two segments: Plurality in the making of the Bible and Plurality in the Reading of the Bible. The initial segment consists of four chapters that delve into Gillingham’s outlook concerning the diverse albeit integrated character of the description of the Bible through diverse tests and versions adopted by different groups of people. Across the chapters, Gillingham demonstrates that both the Old and New testaments have been subjected to widespread modifications in order to produce the present version (Traina 2002, p. 219). Gillingham (1999, p. 44) presents the theological, literary and historical approaches to examining the Bible. She notes that these approaches are inherently complementary, in line with the concepts of postmodernism. Gillingham holds the opinion that no biblical text has a single inflexible meaning, and this allows for the constant creation and development of fresh interpretations. Conventionally, theology provides for a single properly controlled approach to biblical studies, arguing that the cannon itself is a crucial control (Barrick 2003, p. 113). However, Gillingham proposes diverse interpretations, opposing the establishment of controls. In fact, she poises that it is impractical to establish controls regarding the inclusion or exclusion of different books. This view opposes the existence of one authoritative cannon. For Gillingham, reading the Bible is the only sure way of understanding it. She poises that the open-ended and pluralist way of reading provides a clear picture of the essence of the Bible (Gillingham 19997, p. 72). In contradiction of the book’s title, the inference of the first segment is that no single standard biblical text, universal cannon and biblical theology exists. Gillingham introduces the second segment of the volume in alignment with the book’s title. It is in the second part that she introduces the diverse approaches to ...Show more


Book Review On One Bible Many Voices  Name: Institution: Book Review On One Bible Many Voices  Introduction In her book, One Bible many voices, Gillingham advocates a pluralist approach to reading the Bible. Throughout the book, Gillingham appreciates the numerous voices that speak throughout the Bible…
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