The Depth Dimension


Adam Nigh, "The Depth Dimension: Scripture and Hermeneutics in the Theology of T. F. Torrance" (PhD dissertation, Aberdeen University, 2013)


Nigh, Adam. "The Depth Dimension: Scripture and Hermeneutics in the Theology of T. F. Torrance." PhD dissertation, Aberdeen University, 2013

Publication life cycle / General notes

Discussed in the Reading Group on June 17, 2021: Video.


This thesis examines the theology of T. F. Torrance as it relates to scripture and hermeneutics, areas in which he has been neglected in the midst of otherwise great interest and activity surrounding his work. Torrance's doctrine of scripture is shown to exhibit what he calls a “dimension of depth” in which God is seen to reveal himself through it as it testifies to the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of one being with the Father incarnate as a human being, while retaining a perpetual distinction between its words and the divine Word that speaks through them. This then leads to a theological hermeneutics that seeks to respect the distinction while holding the two together, seeking to hear the eternal divine Word in the creaturely words of the biblical text. The thesis is divided into two parts. Part One examines Torrance's studies of the history of hermeneutics in which he finds a pervasive dualism keeping Christian theology from this kind of unity-in-distinction and seeking instead into find a way across an assumed chasm between God's transcendent being and the material, historical world through allegorical or psychological interpretations. Torrance also sees a realism holding this unity-in-distinction struggling against this dualistic tendency throughout the church's history. Part Two examines Torrance's constructive proposals for, first, the doctrine of scripture and, second, biblical hermeneutics.