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

Current Term:



Oliver Dyma
University of Münster 

Heiko Wenzel
Campus Danubia, Vienna

Member Area

Sofia 2024 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. 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 YHWH. 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. 

In Syracuse 2023, we enjoyed papers on the kingdom of God and its implications. Fruitful discussions indicated various directions that need to be explored further, for example, the connection between the kingdom of God and the house(s) of God or the presence of God. So we continue our research on the kingdom of God and encourage particularly New Testament scholars to contribute to our exploration.