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

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

On the Kingdom of God and Its Implications


The research group "Canonical Approaches" focuses on literary devices, subjects, and methodological questions in relation to the Canon. After three years of exploring the concept of Torah from a canonical perspective, we decided to take on a theological subject. 


The idea of the Kingdom of God is one of the significant connections between various parts of the Bible. In the Old Testament, the Psalms in particular deal with God's kingship. Also, the Torah, the Prophets, and the other Writings portray him as king or include this presumption. The New Testament refers to God's basileia from Matthew to the Apocalypse of John. Other ideas and motifs play a role, e.g., the throne, enthronement, divine judgment, the Chaoskampf, and the Day of JHWH. They link various parts of the Canon and give structure to it. The topic calls for reflection, e.g., on the metaphor of divine kingship, the divine-human relationship, divine council, or its past, present, and future aspects. 


We invite papers that address some of these aspects, showing the significance of this idea for books, portions thereof, or overarching structures. Papers are most welcome investigating the connecting function of this idea or its implications.  


Depending on the papers and discussions of the 2023 conference, we intend to further this subject in the following years.