Term used with negative connotation to describe the approach of some theologians to Scripture; used already 1883 by K. M. A. Kähler.* Attempts to identify theol. tendencies as biblicism proved futile. Often men like J. A. Bengel* and J. T. Beck* were classified as biblicists. H. Engelland (b. Föhrden, Schleswig, 1903; prof. theol. Hamburg Theol. Inst.) classifies A. H. Cremer,* K. M. A. Kähler, and A. V. Schlatter* as neo-biblicists. At times attempts were made to distinguish biblicism in the narrow and wide sense. It has been defined as a liberal use of the Bible that ignores context, figures of speech, and principles of interpretation. K. Barth regards biblicism as immediate approach to Scripture without use of dogma. R. Niebuhr regards biblicism as identical with bibliolatry. Calvin* is often classified as a biblicist whereas Luther's* emphasis on the Gospel protected him from a one-sided biblicism.
In a good sense Biblicism denotes thorough acquaintance with the Bible. In this sense a Bible scholar may be called a Biblicist.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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