Dr. Dennis Edwards (North Park Theological Seminary) has written the essay on trends in exegesis and hermeneutics in The State of New Testament Studies (Baker, 2019, coming in November). Dr. Edwards has extensive experience in ministry as a pastor for the Covenant church. He is also the author of the 1 Peter volume in the Story of God Commentary series.
NKG: Dr. Edwards, why are you interested in modern trends and currents in exegesis and biblical hermeneutics?
DRE: More people of color are engaging in scholarly biblical study and I am curious about the impact of that research in the academy as well as local congregations
NKG: Can you give us a description or illustration of how this has changed over the last twenty years?
DRE: What could be called “postmodern hermeneutics” has exploded. Theological interpretation continues to evolve and grow in interest. People of color are bringing fresh eyes to biblical texts, often pushing against traditional (i.e., white European) interpretations.
NKG: Can you recommend a book or two that has been important in hermeneutics?
DRE: My essay (in The State of New Testament Studies) touches on many different approaches to the Bible, so it is hard to pick just one or two. However, I’ll note that Cain Hope Felder’s Troubling Biblical Waters (1990) began the work of defining African American biblical interpretation. Stephen Fowl (a Roman Catholic) and Kevin Vanhoozer (reformed Presbyterian) have written much on Theological Interpretation of Scripture. A key book in Womanist Biblical Interpretation is Jacquelyn Grant’s White Women’s Christ and Black Women’s Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response (1989).
NKG: What else are you working on these days?
DRE: Regarding academic work, I’m working on an essay on slavery, an essay on Colossians/Philemon, and a book on race and ethnicity.
NKG: Thanks, Dr. Edwards! I am excited to have your excellent essay in SNTS and I know many people will benefit from it.