Is biblical canonical criticism considered an academically reputable methodology for scholarly study? Is it considered synonymous with the historical-grammatical method? Do non-conservatives ever use this method? Apparently the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament uses this approach. Its also known as the "Sheffield School"?

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    Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 21:08
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1 Answer 1


Canonical Criticism was developed by Brevard Childs who was a Yale professor, it is hard to be more academically sound then that.

It is very distinct from the historical-grammatical method, since Canonical criticism is concerned with the larger texts place in the Bible, while historical-grammatical is concerned with the meaning of each meaning unit. One can look at Songs of Songs, historical-grammatical can explain what each metaphor means, but canonical criticism explains why a book with those metaphors is in the Bible.

I think a book that really lends itself well to Canonical Criticism is the Psalms. So the source critic wants to know who really wrote each psalm, the textual critic what the autograph really looked like, the historical-grammatical what they text really meant to the first reader. The canonical critical position wants to know how the way that the psalms have been collated together really affects our worship.

It isn't synonymous with the Sheffield School, but the Sheffield School uses it. Do liberal scholars use this approach? I don't see why not, and this recent article seems pretty liberal to me.

The Bible Project is probably the major popular Canonical Criticism artefact.

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