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College of Arts and Sciences


Bible, New Testament, Reformation


Christianity | Religion


Martin Luther's Reformation of Christianity was preceded by a conceptual reform of New Testament studies arising from the Renaissance scorn for medieval perceptions. The Reformation was thrust into a volatile academic area of conflicting humanist and scholastic methods of biblical interpretation. Lorenzo Valla and Desiderius Erasmus applied advanced methods of linguistic, historical, and literary criticism to the translation and emendation of the New Testament. The debate over authority for textual meaning held particular applicability for disregarding the authority of tradition in interpreting scripture. The humanist view of scripture was adopted by and consequently associated with the Reformation, although the conflicting practical applications of the critical approach ultimately divided the two movements from one another.

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