The NT and social-scientific approaches
I want to vent a very short rant on social-scientific approaches to the NT, given the announcement on Mark Goodacre's blog, NT Gateway, of the publication of Malina's and Pilch's new volume, Social-Science Commentary on the Letters of Paul.
While I do value the contribution social-scientific studies make to the interpretation of the New Testament, especially in able hands like those of Esler, I can’t help but feel that when you’ve read one social-scientific book, you’ve read them all. The crazed search for yet another ‘model’ with which to read the biblical texts has, in my opinion, led to a neglect of the texts themselves. Cf. also my comments in relation to Asano's recent work on Galatians in the next post.
What do you think about social-scientific approaches to the exegesis of scripture?