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Clash of VisionsPopulism and Elitism in New Testament Theology

Clash of Visions

Populism and Elitism in New Testament Theology

Robert W. Yarbrough
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Each year thousands die for the Jesus they read about in the Bible. At the same time scholars worldwide reject central truths of the Book. Here is an analysis of two contrasting approaches to biblical interpretation: one which has encouraged many to abandon the Christian heritage, the other which has informed the largest numeric increase of professing Christians in world history in recent generations and which is projected to continue.

Robert W. Yarbrough

About Robert W. Yarbrough

Robert W. Yarbrough is Professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis, Missouri.



Yarbrough argues … that the New Testament is a religious book and is therefore of interest to religious people. It is not a text to be endlessly compared, dissected, or deconstructed for the amusement of elites or to provide them with assurance that they need not take God too seriously. To the contrary, Yarbrough shows that the majority of Christians in the world are interested in the theological and spiritual dimension of the Bible…

Michael F. Bird, Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

Without dismissing the contribution of post–Enlightenment biblical studies, Yarbrough is recommending what one may call an Augustinian hermeneutic, already practiced in the majority world, where Christianity continues to thrive. He calls into question the … marginalization of ‘populist’ interpretive voices by an ‘elitist’ academia which has long lost its bearings.

Adonis Vidu, Professor of Theology, Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts
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