Scripture and Truth: Dissertations by the Late Benjamin Jowett with Introduction by Lewis Campbell.
by Benjamin Jowett
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Benjamin Jowett lived two lives: one as a churchman, and the other as a philosopher. As
Oxford’s regius professor of Greek, he gave lectures on both Paul’s letters and Plato’s
dialogues. During visits to Continental Europe, Jowett met and studied the works of
prominent German philosophers. He brought Hegelianism back to England with him,
becoming one of Great Britain’s most influential liberal theologians. This collection of
essays highlight Jowett’s method of interpreting Scripture and its applications. Most of
the essays published here contributed to the manuscript of his theological magnum opus,
his commentary on the Pauline Epistles. Controversially, Jowett argued that context and
tradition, as opposed to the actual linguistic content, revealed the meaning of the biblical
text. More conservative theologians feared Jowett’s approach weakened the authority
of Scripture, but others saw it as a way to appreciate it according to its true nature. “We
are not to be slaves of words,” Jowett said constantly, “the reality beneath them is alone