Original Research - Special Collection: Africa Platform for NT Scholars

African biblical studies and the question of methodology: A focus on New Testament scholarship in Nigeria

Kingsley I. Uwaegbute
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 4 | a8750 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i4.8750 | © 2023 Kingsley I. Uwaegbute | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2023 | Published: 19 December 2023

About the author(s)

Kingsley I. Uwaegbute, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

African biblical studies (ABS) focus on biblical interpretation in Africa. Although new, it has gained massive recognition among African biblical scholars as the biblical interpretation focus that best suits the peculiar challenges that face African Christians. Its emergence, of course, was reactionary to the Western approach to the interpretation of the Bible in Africa and the practice of Christianity as well, which failed to take into cognisance the peculiar needs of African Christians. In New Testament scholarship in Nigeria, ABS has come to dominate biblical interpretation, being the most preferred by New Testament scholars. However, this article notices a persistent problem with regard to methodological rigour in ABS in Nigeria. This article aims to call the attention of New Testament scholars in Nigeria to methodological rigour while engaging in ABS as this is also part of the reasons breaking into mainstream New Testament scholarship has become a problem for many of these scholars. This equally leads to poor global visibility and competitiveness on the part of many Nigerian New Testament scholars. The approach to the discussion in the work is analytical and descriptive with a touch of personal observation.

Contribution: This article calls attention to the need for ABS scholars in Nigeria to emphasise methodological rigour in their research. While this will lead to recognition of the works of ABS practitioners in Nigeria and beyond, this article makes a case for academic excellence which is the hallmark of good biblical scholarship.


Keywords

African biblical studies; New Testament scholarship; African or Nigerian context; Western New Testament scholarship; methodology

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