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Abstract

Under the heading of ‘the accessibility of Scripture’ I investigate accounts of the conditions – skills, knowledge or status – necessary to extracting meaning from the text adequately. I suggest that modern theological scholarship has a visibly different account from classical Reformation and post-Reformation dogmatics, insisting on the need for historical and linguistic expertise, which used to be denied, and refusing any account of the need for the aid of the Holy Spirit, which used to be insisted upon. I suggest that, because of the constructed nature of the ‘Bible’, theological accounts of Bible reading must be responsible to lived practices of engagement with the text to be academically coherent, and on this basis argue for the superiority of the older tradition.