Textual criticism and historical research played a pivotal role in the controversies about the divine status of the Bible. This introductory chapter attempts to sketch the main context of the debates, historical as well as historiographical, for the single chapters that follow. The chapter gives an explanation of the nature of early modern biblical philology, addresses the conservatism in the practice of biblical philology that arose from psychological, socio-cultural, and theological impediments, highlights the impact of inter-confessional strife on the status of the Bible, and pays special attention to intellectual eccentrics, Thomas Hobbes, Lodewijk Meyer, and Benedict Spinoza in particular, who availed themselves of innovative exegesis for the dismantling of the divine status of the Bible

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doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198806837.003.0002, hdl.handle.net/1765/109297
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Nellen, H., & Steenbakkers, P. (Piet). (2017). Biblical philology in the long seventeenth century: New orientations. In Scriptural Authority and Biblical Criticism in the Dutch Golden Age: God's Word Questioned (pp. 16–57). doi:10.1093/oso/9780198806837.003.0002