James McGrath has reported on his exciting weekend at the Midwest SBL Meeting in Illinois. I would've liked to catch the session on teaching the Bible. He writes:
A nice moment was when one member shared the experience of reading Julius Wellhausen's Prolegomena to the History of Israel, and how clear it was when reading that book that Wellhausen's source critical approach was an attempt to make sense of the text, not impose a pre-defined framework upon it. Critical reading of the Bible is nothing other than an attempt to take the Bible seriously, all of it in all its details and with all its difficulties. Pretending that the Bible doesn't have these features is, by way of contrast, an act of infidelity to Scripture.Wellhausen often gets a bad rap, usually from people who haven't read him or at least haven't read him charitably. One reason ad hominem is so effective is that we tend to see things as worse than they are when we already "know" that someone else was wrong and have a bad impression of that person.