First, N. T. Wright reviewed David Bentley Hart’s translation of the New Testament. Then Hart responded. I haven’t enjoyed a near slap-fight between intellectuals this much since William F. Buckley offered to sock Gore Vidal “in the goddamned face.”
N.T. Wright: “The New Testament in the strange words of David Bentley Hart”
David Bentley Hart: “A Reply to N. T. Wright”
It’s worth reading both with care and thoughtful reflection. Here’s a taste from Hart (with my emphasis added):
. . . Wright objects to (and dismissively misrepresents) my observation that Paul may literally mean what he seems explicitly to say in 1 Corinthians 10:11, that some of the stories recorded in the Torah may already be allegorical in form rather than strictly literal historical narratives. For Wright, to say as much is to discount the presence of Israel’s history in Paul’s thinking on the covenant. What on earth is Wright talking about? Does he really know so little of the age in which Paul wrote, and of the diversity of views in Jewish thought at the time, as to think that, for an educated student of Gamaliel, only something like a fundamentalist literalism could be counted as faith in the reality of God’s presence with Israel through the generations? (Well, the question answers itself, really.)
Wow. That one landed hard.
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