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After CalvinStudies in the Development of a Theological Tradition$
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Richard A. Muller

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195157017

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157017.001.0001

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The Debate over the Vowel Points and the Crisis in Orthodox Hermeneutics

The Debate over the Vowel Points and the Crisis in Orthodox Hermeneutics

(p.146) 9 The Debate over the Vowel Points and the Crisis in Orthodox Hermeneutics
After Calvin

Richard A. Muller

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the materials of a famous but little-examined and misunderstood 17th-century debate over the text of the Scripture. At least one modern debate pits an obscurantist scholastic defense of the Mosaic origins of the vowel points against the more well-known views of the Reformation and the forward march of the exegesis. However, one of the foremost Judaic scholars of the era, John Lightfoot, remembered for arguing for the use of Judaica to establish the context and meaning of the New Testament, upheld the Mosaic origin of the vowel points. Analysis of the debate over the vowel points, often cited as an example of the mental rigidity of the Reformed orthodox and their discontinuity with the exegetical and hermeneutical approaches of the Reformers, illustrates a complex development of Reformed thought.

Keywords:   orthodox hermeneutics, Judaica, vowel points, John Lightfoot

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