Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




In this dissertation I argue that American evangelicals need the Catholic Church in order to interpret Scripture well. Often, ecclesiology plays a minor role in evangelical hermeneutics. However, the greater need is for evangelicals to engage the Catholic Church specifically in the work of biblical exegesis. I call for a theological reassessment, from an evangelical perspective, of the necessity of ecclesiology, including sacred regard for the Catholic Church, for the work of biblical interpretation.

This dissertation produces a historical trajectory which demonstrates where evangelicals have departed from the long-standing axiomatic relationship between Church and Scripture, and especially highlights their enduring neglect of the theological and practical value of the contemporary Catholic Church for biblical hermeneutics. This work, in its attempt to demonstrate the value of the Catholic Church for evangelical hermeneutics, distinguishes itself through its heavy use of Catholic theological writings. In addition to key Christian authors who preceded the Reformation and significant evangelical authors of the modern era, I make use of Catholic theologians such as Johann Sebastian von Drey and Johann Adam Möhler from Tübingen, Henri de Lubac from the Catholic Ressourcement movement, philosophers Maurice Blondel and Paul Ricoeur, Michael Polanyi, various formal Vatican documents, and the works of Benedict XVI. The inclusion of Catholic authors is intended to exemplify the mandate for evangelical theologians to practice critical empathy for the Catholic Church.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.