Theologians cautioned over Western Bible commentaries

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Prof. Olubiyi Adewale, Head, Department of Religious Studies, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has called on clergymen in the country to engage on sound teachings to inspire and mould the spiritual character of Christians in the country.

The professor, who made the call during the 12th Inaugural Lecture at the NOUN headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, cautioned clergymen against over-dependence on Western Bible commentaries.

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The theme of the lecture is “’Africanisation of Biblical Hermeneutics: An Escursus into Jesus Parabolic Discourses.’’

According to him, theologians are killing theology in the West, but African biblical studies are resuscitating the efforts of early biblical scholars.

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“African Theology did not really come into existence until 1966 because prior to that time, African Theology has been an appendage of Western Theology.

“The reason is not far-fetched as most of Africa’s theologians then had received their theological education in Western seminaries and universities.

“African Theology began as a protest against negative colonial and missionary interpretations of the religion and culture in Africa.

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“It is my prayer that Nigeria clergymen would come alive with sound teachings that would inspire and mould millions of Christians in the country,” he said.

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Adewale, however, said his research publications had been in the foregoing direction, of using biblical Hermeneutics to address emergent problems in the African context.

Besides, he added that the solution to address some challenges in theology was to have pastors that would begin Hermeneutics from the local language before translating them to sermons to appeal to the people.

“There is the need to have pastors who are theologically sound and churches must take the bold steps to get pastors educated in faith and theological education.

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‘`There is the need to stop our over dependence on Western Bible commentaries and study Bibles and Bible Society of Nigeria to publish African Bibles.

“There is need to stop the overt use of allegorical method of interpretation in the churches as the root cause of many heresies flying about the pulpit these days,” he said.

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