Canonical Approaches to the Bible


Canonical interpretation or exegesis aims to understand biblical texts in the context of the whole canon of texts. It takes into account different forms of canon in various traditions. Reading texts canonically links them to a community of faith for who they are part of their respective canon and understands it as scripture.

Canonical exegesis is not a fixed set of methods but rather a mindset for approaching biblical texts. The research unit aims to take up the ideas introduced by Brevard Childs, James Sanders, and others and to give room to discuss different approaches of canonical exegesis.

We want to further the discussion of methodological and hermeneutical foundations and enrich the understanding of individual texts and larger units by reading them canonically. To guide and focus the sessions, we choose overarching topics for a couple of years.



Canon, Canonical Exegesis, Intertextual Analysis


Oliver Dyma
Catholic University of Applied Sciences Munich

Heiko Wenzel
Campus Danubia, Vienna

Member Area

Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers

The current three-year program of our research group is focused on canonical perspectives on Torah as a basis of canon. The concept of Torah has seen a recent and resurging interest in the scholarly debate. In 2019 (Warsaw) we had an engaging session in dealing with specific biblical texts as they relate to Torah and canon. Different aspects and concepts of torah have emerged: is torah defined as textual entity or by content, written and/or oral, dynamic aspects of torah (doing, interpreting, teaching and learning), connected terms and concepts, the question of authority and institutions or more generally speaking of power; aspects of structure and genre. Central texts seemed to be important, esp. Deut 31. During the virtual meeting in 2021 (Wuppertal) we focused on broader ethical, thematic, and theological themes. 

The topic of the third year, 2022, concerns groups or communities for which Torah as a concept does or, on the contrary, does not play an important role for their respective identity and how they consequently deal with those texts. On the other hand, we want to look at communities as they are constructed by and found within the texts themselves.

We invite papers dealing with concepts of Torah in a canonical perspective including lexematic analyses. We especially invite papers focusing on (historical) groups for whom Torah is important or who reject the concept of Torah as well as (textual) groups described or presupposed by biblical texts.

Papers from the area of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, or Second Temple literature are welcome. We especially encourage New Testament scholars to participate.