Monday, May 10, 2010

How Can You Be a Textual Critic and Not Lose Your Faith?

At the 2009 SBL meeting Juan Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Bethel University, was interviewed by Dr. Eugenia Constantinou for Ancient Faith Radio, a podcast that serves the Greek and Russian Orthodox communities.

Incidentally, Dr. Constantinou is the translator of Andrew of Caesarea’s commentary on the Apocalypse that has been mentioned here on the blog. (Unfortunately, the commentary/dissertation is not found through that link anymore - perhaps someone can give us an updated link.) More about Constantinou here.

The interview revolves around the question of faith and the Bible’s ancient manuscripts; in particular, how Hernandez can be a textual critic and not lose his faith “like Bart Ehrman” (her words). The interviewer is also interested in knowing how Hernandez ended up in a discipline that is not typically peopled with Hispanic-Americans of Pentecostal background.

The interview begins about 20 minutes into the program and is largely biographic. If you want to begin listening at that point, you can download the podcast and open it in iTunes (or equivalent) and skip forward:

Listen to the interview here.


  1. the question should have been "and not lose your faith in biblical inerrancy?" or some strict form of verbal inspiration...

    With continual identifiable errors both in specific variances and in uniform contradictory minor detail it is difficult for me to understand the necessity for the leap of faith.
    In fact, we are losing a great many young people today who are critical thinkers (who are over reacting to this view).

  2. Juan sounds as if he is very uncertain of just what is what. He seems to be searching. He will not find the "rapture" in the Apocalypse because it is/was not for the Jewish Apostle John to teach about it, the rapture is part of Paul's revelations. It is not a part of Israel's hope. Which of course, one does not learn in most Universities or in Pentacostalism.
    G.S. Dykes

  3. Dr. Constantinou's thesis is now available from the PDF link at the bottom of this page: