Correlating Bible and Ethics: Tensions and Complexity

Hauptsächlicher Artikelinhalt

Robert L. Brawley


In a brief theoretical section this article advances the thesis that the task of correlating the Bible and ethics is necessarily diverse
because it encounters two dialectical bridges. One is the tension between individual and communal perspectives; the
other is the complexity generated by varieties in exegetical and hermeneutical methods. Following a partial demonstration of
the diversity opened up by Gadamer’s attention to the impact of history on interpretations by means of a description of Mi -
chael Wolter’s innovative exegesis of Rom 7, the article makes an analogy between the competence stage in narrative structure
and an ethical program that involves obligation, willingness, and the ability to perform what is necessary for resolving an
ethical dilemma. The last section of the article samples and evaluates models of correlating biblical interpretation with ethics:
Law; imitation of exemplars; cultivating a habitus of virtues; Richard Hays’s proposal for descriptive and synthetic interpretation,
hermeneutical correlation, and pragmatic embodiment of behavior; implicit ethics; and metaethics.