Biblical Criticism in the Contemporary Homilectic Praxis
Biblical criticism had been a tedious task over the years tailored towards unveiling the locus of meaning and theological significance of a selected biblical text. The exegetes undertook a systematic process and critical methods to interpret a text for the comprehension of the contemporary readers or hearers in order to avoid heretical teachings as a result of misinterpretation. These methods exhumed under the umbrella of hermeneutics and exegeses of sacred books include textual or lower criticism, source or higher criticism, literary criticism with other sub-methods that emanated from it. This paper through a historical approach explained the various methods and tools of biblical criticism that could be relevant in contemporary homiletic praxis if properly harnessed. The paper discovered the Bible as an indispensable library and holy book to humanity that attracted global attention of scholars and theologians in the development of critical and systematic methods of interpretation known as biblical criticism. These critical tools illuminate the knowledge of an exegete for effectiveness in homiletic practicum. The paper recommends that the acquaintance with biblical criticism would give better insight in understanding Old Testament religion and theology. Nevertheless, biblical criticism should be conscientiously studied in order to be equipped for theological education and to avoid heretical teachings as a result of misinterpretation of the scriptures. A good knowledge of Biblical criticism helps to provide balanced comprehension in homily preparation and to abrogate he obliviousness of hermeneutical theories and the Sitzim Lebenof a biblical text.