Wednesday Morning at ETS

This morning I attended the Hermeneutics section at ETS and saw two papers:

Grant R. Osborne, professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, presented a paper entitled "Hermeneutics and Paul: His Use of the OT in Ephesians 4:8." (Unfortunately I was late and did not hear all of the presentation, so my apologies for the incomplete recounting.) Osborn was wrestling with what Paul meant with citation of Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8, a well-known interpretive problem in this passage. Osborn argued that the military imagery of Psalm 68 is central and persuasive; the defeat of cosmic powers is a central issue to the psalm. Because of this context, he now argues that the captives of Ephesians 4:8 are demonic forces; through their defeat Christ distributes spoils to the church. Whether or not Osborn's analysis is best, I at this point cannot say, but I do appreciate his attitude. He concluded his paper by noting that he has held a different view for over 30 years; only recently has he been persuaded to hold a different option. His admonition to the audience was telling: We should never stop learning, and we should never stop studying.

Andreas Köstenberger, professor at Southeastern Seminary, discussed the hermeneutical approach of his recent book, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology. I made some preliminary comments about this work here, and Köstenberger's fuller explanation of their hermeneutics has made me appreciate the text even more. The text of his paper is available from his website.