THIS POST CONTINUES MY RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MENTOR BRUCE METZGER.
Several times in these posts on Bruce Metzger I have mentioned the fact that many of his colleagues at Princeton Theological Seminar considered him “old school,” and theologically a bit, well, naïve. It is common in theological circles to brand someone who has an older view of things that is not cutting edge as naïve. And Metzger certainly was not cutting edge when it came to theology.
Metzger had been raised in a pious home in Pennsylvania and the piety and simple beliefs of his youth stayed with him through old age. As I’ve indicated, he knew billions of facts about the Bible – its teachings, its historical context, the formation of the canon, the transmission of its text, the translation of its text into ancient languages (Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic — and so on!), the history of its interpretation, etc. etc. But his own personal beliefs could well have been the same had he not known these billions of facts. His was a traditional, fairly conservative belief in God through Christ, and he had a traditional understanding of the Bible as the inspired word of God.
Metzger was no fundamentalist. And he did not self-identify even as an evangelical. He did not think the Bible was inerrant….
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