• Karlfried Froehlich deposited Bible Commentaries – The Crisis of a Literary Genre on Humanities Commons 1 year, 5 months ago

    The original (German) version of this 1986 article was dedicated to Bernhard W. Anderson who, at that time, was planning to write a commentary on Genesis. He struggled with the idea of a commentary and agreed that the genre faced a crisis. Froehlich described the crisis as an overload of expectation: far too much is expected of biblical commentaries. To gain a perspective, he tried to sketch the history of the genre from its origins in classical textual scholarship through modern times under four headings: designation, occasion, format, and method. At the end, he agreed with Anderson’s description of a rather modest goal of what a commentary should deliver: information on the original text, a clear decision about hermeneutical presuppositions, help with the penetration into the foreign world of the text, but also help in developing the reader’s own imaginative facilities in dealing with language and incorporating the biblical text into the life of the Christian community.