The nature and impact of William H. Shea's works of biblical studies
Unpublished Thesis (PhD)
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William Henry Shea, former associate director of Biblical Research Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland, and former professor in Old Testament at Andrews University Theological Seminary, has gained prominence within Seventh-day Adventist and non-Adventist circles because of his numerous works in different areas of biblical studies. In spite of his prominence and significant influence, there has been no extensive investigation of his works. This paper seeks to answer the following questions: what is the precise nature of William H. Shea's works in the area of biblical studies? To what extent and in what way, if any, have his works influenced the discipline of biblical studies? To determine the nature of Shea’s works, his published and available unpublished works have been analyzed and classified according to the following categories: contextual-historical, literary, archaeological, and exegetical. This research examines the extent to which they have been cited, used, and responded to by both non-SDA and SDA scholars of reputable standing, either to lend support to their study or to critique Shea’s. The method of research used in this paper is both descriptive and analytical. It is found that the nature of Shea’s works in biblical studies is primarily contextual-historical but also multiplex. It includes archaeological, literary, and exegetical work in which he combines all of the approaches. This study reveals that the impact of Shea’s works in the area of biblical studies is felt in both Adventist and non-Adventist circles. The impact of his works is felt largely among conservative biblical scholars who share similar conservative views with him. Based on the data quantitatively analyzed, it is found that Shea had an impact in historical-contextual and literary areas as seen by the number of those who agreed with his positions and conclusions. In the study of the nature and impact of William H. Shea’s works in biblical studies, it has been shown that he is both a renowned scholar and dedicated believer.
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