Susan Wise Bauer, “Why Paul Would Have Flunked Hermeneutics”

Posted By on April 5, 2011

This is an important article to read as Susan Wise Bauer is a leader in the Christian homeschool community and her books are widely sold and used by many, many families. I have used and appreciated some of her materials, including the phonics book published by her company. What she states in the article quoted in the post below, however, is extremely disturbing and concerning. If the Word of God is not our foundation in every single area than we are on shaky, shaky ground.

Yes—that is the subtitle of her review (written in 2006) of Peter Enns’ book entitled Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. The full title of her article was “Messy Revelation: Why Paul would have flunked hermeneutics.”  By “hermeneutics” here she means a class that would study the principles used in properly interpreting the Bible (from the Greek word hermeneuo, which means to interpret or translate).

She is well known for authoring The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. She also authored a four-volume world history series for children entitled The Story of the World, published by Peace Hill Press (which she founded).   She co-authored The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, that established Bauer as a central figure in the modern classical education and home education movements…

…Recently, I have written items dealing with the content of the curriculum created by Dr. Peter Enns (from BioLogos) as part of a homeschool curriculum.  I detailed quotes from Dr. Enns’ Telling God’s Story, A Parents’ Guide to Teaching the Bible, (Charles City, Virginia: Olive Branch Books, 2010). This book is intended to be used in conjunction with the first year book in the series Telling God’s Story…

…Bauer’s review of Enns’ book (a book that led to his dismissal from the faculty of Westminister Theological Seminary in Philadelphia) has the shocking headline, “Messy Revelation.”  I presume this is because Peter Enns (see the first link above) basically calls the Bible a “mess”—something like a child’s room.

Nowhere in her review is there any negative statement about the book.

Bauer states concerning Enns’ book:

The uniqueness of the Old Testament as a piece of literature has been seriously dented by the discovery of more and more ancient texts that predate (and anticipate) biblical forms. Creation story, flood story, prophecy, proverb: all of these were in use in Mesopotamia long before the first biblical book was penned.

Click here to read the rest.

About The Author

Jennifer McBride is the blessed wife to Steve and the mother of 8 children, ages 13-2. She is also the editor of the book "Queen of the Home" - currently being revised and updated. In her sparest of spare moments she operates, a website dedicated to proclaiming the honor, nobility and power of Biblical womanhood.


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