Oxford University Press
Edwards the Exegete
Douglas A. Sweeney
Scholars have long recognized that Jonathan Edwards loved the Bible. But preoccupation with his roles in Western "public" life and letters has led to a failure to see the significance of his biblical exegesis. The lion's share of his time during every week of his life was spent wrestling with the words of holy writ. In Edwards the Exegete, Douglas A. Sweeney fills this lacuna by exploring his exegesis and its significance for Christian thought and intellectual history. After reconstructing Edwards' lost exegetical world and describing his place within it, Sweeney summarizes his four main approaches to the Bible (canonical, Christological, redemptive-historical, and pedagogical) and analyzes his work on selected biblical themes that illustrate these four approaches-focusing on material that is emblematic of Edwards' larger interests as a scholar. Sweeney compares his work to that of his most frequent interlocutors and places it in the context of the history of exegesis, challenging preconceived notions about the state of Christianity in the age of the Enlightenment. In doing so, Sweeney offers others a helpful guide to Edwards' exegetical work and clears a path for later specialists to follow. This book makes a major contribution to Edwards studies, eighteenth-century studies, the history of exegesis, the theological interpretation of Scripture, and homiletics.
About the Author
Douglas A. Sweeney, Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought; Chair of the Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Douglas A. Sweeney is Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought, Chair of the Department, and Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has published widely on Edwards, early modern Protestant thought, and the history of evangelicalism. His books include two volumes in the Yale Edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards (1999, 2004), Nathaniel Taylor, New Haven Theology, and the Legacy of Jonathan Edwards (2003), and The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement (2005). He is on the editorial board of Jonathan Edwards Studies.